Author Topic: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?  (Read 984 times)

Santosh Wolf

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An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:00:37 PM »
Only got the first volume of Burnham's Celestial Handbook this day, and all I can say is WOW!  What an undertaking!  What a plethora of information!  What good descriptive commentary and background!  I'm currently hooked.

It is a really terrific read.  Very intriguing stuff.

BUT - ow!  My eyes!  A typewriter?  Really?  Come on!

I notice that I happen to have bought the 1978 "Revised and Enlarged Edition"; and there was a previous 1966 variant listed in the copyright info.  Evidently, this means there were buyers of this first variant to justify another version.  Isn't it time to get a third variant?

Is there no strategy, no movement, nothing in the works to upgrade this fine reference again for the 21st century?  There have to be 10 times as many amateur astronomers today as there were nearly 40 decades ago.  There would still be a market for a volume (well, three actually) such as this.

And they can do so much more with it to make it considerably more attractive - the least of which are a better typeface, but also colour photos of these objects, better charts, and updated info about the things which have shifted from the past nearly 40 decadesago  Keep all his prose but make the rest of it better.  I would imagine that all of the info that he provided on the double/variable stars might easily be pulled from computer databases and plugged to the book today.  New charts are a computer click away.

The Whole collection seems to be available at Google Books, here:

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false

So that I can't imagine there are that much trouble with copyright issues.

What do folks think about it?



taccihalmo

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 10:04:54 PM »
Well, in my opinion only, it is an amazing work written by an amazing, and regrettably misunderstood, person who never really received the credit that he deserved.

I think that Burnham's books should be left as they are as a legacy to the man who created them.

I would, however, love to see more books written in that style. I have enjoyed Steven O'Meara's Deep Sky Companions series for similar reasons.

taccihalmo

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 11:49:51 AM »
Jon, There is an interesting thread about Burnham's here....

http://www.cloudynig...ndbook-digital/

Michael

Tim Jauregui

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 04:57:56 PM »
What Ken said, basically. There are plenty of contemporary works with similar and updated information, if that's what you want. To make changes to Burnham's would be like defacing a work of art.

guizietropid

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 06:11:11 AM »
I'm totally with Ken. Burnham's is a classic of the era and as such should not be tampered with. Any future edition should be reproduced in the same fashion as the original. There are plenty of other more recent celestial "guides" available for those troubled by how Burnham's is presented on the page.

Incidentally, I was among those few receiving the original work in its serialized version by subscription back more than 50 years ago and consider it just as useful and readable, as is, as it was when I first got the installments from Burnham himself.

BrooksObs

Mortimer Concepcion

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 12:45:56 AM »
Me three.
Don't change a thing.
The present edition reads beautifully.

I respect that some folks suggest a data tweak.
But marketeers improving it?
It ain't broke, and just does not need to be fixed.

ransgesislu

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 03:52:02 AM »
The door is open for you to step up.......that's how Burnham did it.....he just sit down and did it.........and we ALL are indebted to his works.......don't worry about the font, but bask in the content.

riaherrvodo

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 04:26:30 AM »
I have the 1978 version in three hardcover volumes.....a nice read. Received them thru a book club...

Good viewing,

Dave

writgobetfcoo

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 06:29:58 AM »
someone awhile back asked, What's the BIBLE of astronomy, this would've been my answer.

Shane Proulx

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:48:58 PM »
Quote
You guys are all stick-in-the-muds! 

Quote

someone awhile back asked, What's the BIBLE of astronomy, this would've been my answer.


Right Gene, and even the Bible gets updated from time to time: King James Version, Revised Standard Version, New International Version, . . .

bayretide

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 06:56:15 AM »
your entirely right, but the intent of the book can never be made better by fancy , glossy pages and new cover's. it's the beauty within , and as Yul Brenner has said, So let it be written, so let it be done. Moses, Cecil B DeMille

Matthew Calhoun

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 11:29:47 AM »
Quote
You guys are all stick-in-the-muds! 

Quote

someone awhile back asked, What's the BIBLE of astronomy, this would've been my answer.


Right Gene, and even the Bible gets updated from time to time: King James Version, Revised Standard Version, New International Version, . . .


The difference between those versions of the Bible, is the translations, not the content

If you want updated info, there are new books for that. Burnham's in my view has crossed over into the realm of "classic." No need for it to be tampered with.

Praveen Deel

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:37:16 AM »
My first thought was no just leave it be, but the more I think on it, why not?

Steven James O'Meara could do justice to such a project I'm sure.

Updated double star info/orbit diagrams.

Many of his wonderful at the eyepiece sketches.

A comprehensive Index at the back of each volume.

Quality binding and paper. Maybe a Field edition.

I would buy such an updated edition and keep it next to my originals.

Kudos to Jon

Michael.

Cesar Lawhorn

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 03:30:25 AM »
Quote
What Ken said, basically. There are plenty of contemporary works with similar and updated information, if that's what you want. To make changes to Burnham's would be like defacing a work of art.


This is how I see it. There are other, more up to date works that cover much of the same material as Burnham's. One of these is Sanner's two volume set 'The Night Sky Observer' Guide.' It would be a massive job to update Burnham. Although his work is somewhat dated, and as noted, behind the times regarding type fonts and photography, I still enjoy using Burnham's, because it is a classic, and because it still is a very useful work.

fefeldarsro

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Re: An update to Burnham's? Whaddaya say?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 06:29:22 PM »
Quote
Jon, There is an interesting thread about Burnham's here....

http://www.cloudynig...ndbook-digital/

Michael

I had no idea it was previously discussed, and at such great length! Fascinating, as someone famous might have said. Thanks for the link.