THIS volume, to quote the preface, “is intended to afford the amateur astronomer, possessed of limited instrumental means, but yet anxious to devote his labours to the furtherance of astronomical science, such hints and suggestions as will help him to direct his efforts into the channels which experience has indicated as best fitted to his qualifications and equipment.” Its pages are accordingly entirely devoted to practical astronomy, theories of every description being disregarded. The different branches of the subject are dealt with by well-known specialists, Mr. Oliver's share in the work being chiefly editorial. The fundamental chapter on the telescope and observatory, which is full of practical information, is appropriately contributed by Sir Howard Grubb. Mr. Maunder contributes an instructive chapter on the sun; Mr. Gore deals with variable stars, of which an admirable list is given; and Mr. Denning gives directions to those who are anxious to distinguish themselves as comet-discoverers. The chapter on the moon is very detailed, and, with the index map, will be of great service to observers of our satellite. Special stress is in all cases laid upon the importance of adapting the ends to the means. The book is thoroughly practical throughout, and Mr. Oliver deserves the thanks of all who are interested in the progress of astronomy, for bringing together such an excellent series of papers. Celestial spectroscopy and photography are reserved for a forthcoming volume, which we sincerely hope will not be behind the one already issued.
Astronomy for Amateurs.
By J. A. Westwood Oliver. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1888.)