Exploring Amateur Astronomy: Goal Oriented Observing by Mike Hotka

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  • Learn to navigate the night sky.
  • Learn about celestial objects by actually observing them.
  • Discover and explore the Astronomical League Observing Programs.
  • Includes tips and tricks for each Program to overcome the learning curve and start making observations quicker.
  • Aids the beginner as well as the experienced amateur astronomer to increase their observational skills and enjoyment.


Mike Hotka became an amateur astronomer in 1965. Since that time, Mike has made thousands of observations of the night sky. He has developed a goal oriented process to get the amateur astronomer out observing the night sky.

Exploring Amateur Astronomy - Goal Oriented Observing, describes a hands-on approach to observational astronomy. It is designed to aid the beginner as well as the experienced amateur astronomer to increase their observational skills. This book is dedicated to anyone who wishes to have a deeper understanding of celestial objects by actually observing them.

Amateur astronomer Bruce Heath sums up the book nicely by stating "The entire book saves you time, helps your organization, enhances your ability to find a wide variety of celestial objects and will increase your enjoyment while you are doing it. Take a lesson from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.... “if you don’t know where you are going, then any road will do.” Mike helps you pick celestial destinations and gives you the road to get there.......take advantage of it."

What others are saying:

John Wagoner, Observing Chairman of the Texas Star Party, "Mike is a wonderful and gifted writer, one that keeps your attention from beginning to end. And that is minor compared to his Observing skills. This book is one whose time has come given the popularity of the Astronomical League Observing Programs."

Bruce Heath. amateur astronomer, "I can already see this book will be considered a treasure in our hobby."

Andrew Planck, author of What's Hot on the Moon Tonight?, "Every fledgling astronomer should own this book! It is chockablock full of valuable information that cannot otherwise be discovered without going through years of trial and error. Mike Hotka takes you by the hand and leads you through the maze of fifty-some observing programs that are available through the Astronomical League. Without these programs many beginning astronomers will become overwhelmed by the vastness of the universe--they soon lose interest and their telescopes end up gathering dust. Mike's book nips this all-too-common occurrence in the bud and gives astronomers a plan of action from the very beginning. Because the author repeats important details throughout the book, you can pick and choose whatever certificates interest you, then start anywhere in the book and you won't miss out on any important information. Mike gives aspiring astronomers all the tools that they will need to turn astronomy into a life-long, thoroughly enjoyable hobby."

    SKU: hotka1
    Barcode: 9781718659940