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"Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars" by Robert Prokop

Hardcover - 130 pages, First Edition 18 October 2012 ISBN: 9781105834523
Dimensions (in inches): 8.5 x 11 x 0.5

Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars Click on image at left to view enlargement (93,092 bytes)

This is another of those wonderful books that are difficult to find in a store. The staff at Company Seven found this book to be a practical and enjoyable read and helpful reference work. This book is also thought-provoking on several other levels too so that we wish to share this with our friends and customers. We will make a special effort to stock this title and to make it available as a .pdf title for those who seek such portability and convenience.

Looking up into the Heavens on a clear night under a dark sky, we can easily fool ourselves into thinking that the brightest stars we see are those closest to us. The reality could not be more different! In fact, 19 of the 25 closest stars to the Sun are invisible to our naked eye, and many are actually so faint that even with the modest equipment owned by most amateur astronomers, they can be supremely difficult to find. Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars takes the reader on a one-year guided tour through the regions of the Milky Way galaxy closest to our own solar system, concentrating on practical hints at observing this region for one's self.

This volume includes sixty-three (63) color illustrations and detailed star charts that guide the viewer to find for themselves every star within twelve (12) light years of the Sun and that are visible from the Continental United States and other similar latitude locations in the Northern Hemisphere. All charts are by the author, there are some NASA images but most are images provided by fellow amateur astronomers including: Gene Handler, Peter Friedman, Mike Krauss, Chris Todd, Jeremy Kirkendall, and others. The book Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars is available in hardcover, or paperback, or as a .pdf file.

Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars is written by a customer and friend of Company Seven, who got his start into visual astronomy not too many years ago. He progressed from a small 80mm refracting telescope up to a mid size Williams Optics FLT132, a 5 inch Apo refractor supported by a simple to use Universal Astronomics alt-azimuth mount atop a sturdy Meade Instruments tripod. Mr. Prokop has so wanted to rid himself of any technology that could get between him and his experiences with the night sky, that he does not use a Finderscope on his FLT132 telescope! Instead he relies on 'star hopping', a simple celestial navigation technique mentioned in the book and taught by us to customers, to find the objects he seeks with his telescope within the nearly three (3) degrees actual field of view provided by his low-power, wide field eyepiece.

If you are not familiar with finding your way around the night sky then Company Seven recommends you buy a good simple Planisphere to accompany this book. We sell some that are favored by us including David H. Levy Guide to the Stars Planisphere, listed below, that are durable and easy to read with a red light at night. These instruments drew his interest and stoked his passion for the hobby of visual astronomy, and in this book he reflects not only on the practicalities of observing as he guides you through the night sky, by how this hobby came at a critical juncture of his life. So this is an excellent read not only for those seeking a guide to how to find some interesting stars in the night sky and their history, but about how astronomy just might help you to find yourself.

Table of Contents:

Title Page, Page 1
Dedication: To Diane, Page 2
Foreword, Page 3
Table Of Contents, Page 5
1. A Brief Word About Star Hopping, Page 16
2. DC Cancri, Page 18
3. Lalande 21185, Page 26
4. Wolf 359, Page 33
5. Ross 128, Page 40
6. WISE 1541-2250, Page 47
7. Barnard's Star, Page 50
8. Ross 154, Page 59

  9. Struve 2398, Page 66
10. 61 Cygni, Page 73
11. EZ Aquarii, Page 81
12. Ross 248, Page 88
13. Groombridge 34, Page 94
14. Luyten 726-8, Page 99
15. Tau Ceti, Page 106
16. Epsilon Eridani, Page 108
17. Procyon, Page 111
18. Sirius, Page 116
19. Wayfareres All, Page 124
20. Thropes Ende, Page 126
A Prayer Before Observing, Page 129
  Price $41.80 (U.S.D.); please add $4.00 for domestic postage, or $7.00 for international postage.

The Author:

Robert S. Prokop is a retired from government service and became introduced to observational astronomy after the death of his wife. He has worked to fight cancer by participating in and promoting fund raising activities for finding a cure to pancreatic cancer. The stargazing hobby came to him at the right time and he embraced it, and thrived not only as a solitary observer, but soon discovered a budding astronomy club in his county and joined. He contributed to the development of the Howard County Astronomical League (formed in 1999, now an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation), and was entrusted by the membership with it's helm as President of the Howard County Astronomical League (HAL) for multiple terms from 2010 until December 2012. He continues his work but now as a Board Member of HAL. He shared his passion for the hobby with others at numerous organized and informal star watch opportunities and at other outreach activities, then decided to help others comprehend what he has experienced through Eyes To See: Observing the Nearest Stars.



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