How do astronomers do their work today? In this book, Isaac Asimov offers an up-to-date account of stargazing today, from the latest technological advances in space telescopes, computers, and radio telescopes to the simple act of gazing skyward on a starry night with binoculars and pencil and paper in hand. Here is a fascinating array of astronomers’ mthods, equipment, and ideas.
This is an examination of what it’s like to be a working astronomer, which is something Asimov nowhere else particularly covers. There is particular emphasis on the record of amateurs in astronomy, something intended to help encourage youngsters to take up the profession. It’s a reasonably good book for its intended audience, although it’s a bit dated, since the technology used in astronomy has been advancing by leaps and bounds (for example, the book was written before the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, although it mentions the project) and for this reason it gets knocked down a notch. Although Asimov’s older readers may lack any other source to see how he covers this subject, it is not a topic of central interest to most of them, sorry to say.