Reviews - Handbook of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 3rd edition, 2007

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. - Franklin P. Jones

Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate, 2002, Physics
"Modern astrophysics requires the use of observations over the broadest range of wavelengths to fully understand the physical nature of the objects and processes we wish to study in the universe. .... The Handbook of Space Astronomy and Astrophysics gathers in one place the most frequently-used information in modern astrophysics and presents it in the most useful fashion to the non-specialist in a particular field."

Richard Miles, President, British Astronomical Association
"Overall this is an excellent book, one that for most astronomers, whether professional or amateur, should take pride of place on his or her bookshelf as a valuable reference for years to come."
The complete review.

Martin Barstow, University of Leicester, The Observatory, vol 127, p246, 2007.
"In its various incarnations it has been a constant companion for my entire scientific career ... Compared to the last edition, the new version of the handbook has almost double the number of pages and represents a considerable expansion of the content of each chapter. Examples of improvement include updated lists of Solar System natural satellites and high-redshift objects. There are also completely new sections such as the list of extra-solar planets, none of which had been detected when the last edition was produced. ... there is a lot of material, particularly that pertaining to the basic tools of an instrument developer and observer in space astronomy, that, to my knowledge, is not usefully collected in any other single volume. It is certainly worth purchasing by anyone wanting a ready reference for basic instrumentation and observational techniques ... I have no doubt that my copy of the 3rd edition will be as well-used as the previous one."
The complete review.

From Amazon.com -

A reference for modern Space Scientists, January 27, 2007
Reviewer: R. Bagula "Roger L. Bagula" (Lakeside, CA, United States) - See all my reviews.
"This book is meant to be like the C.R.C. Mathematics Tables that many of us have carried since high school. Starting with fundamentals constants it presents values and equations necessary for calculations in astronomical science and ends with information on space delivery systems available at the time of printing. Every college library connected with an astronomy program should have this reference on it's shelves."

A great reference book, March 31, 2008
Reviewer: C. Lawton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews.
"This is the third edition of Zombeck's excellent handbook - and it was long overdue. It is an invaluable resource for students and academics in the field of space science and astrophysics. The layout is clean and information is easy to find. As well as covering all the standard topics one might expect in such a book, there are some interesting extras such as permissible radiation doses. Be warned though, there are relatively few explanations in here so it is not a book for the general public - you really have to know the subject matter."

"The covers of this book are too far apart."
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

2nd edition review
Reviewer: J. O. Christensen Brigham Young University
Zombeck's unique handbook on space astronomy gathers into one book for easy reference much useful and practical information for the practicing amateur or professional astronomer. Tables, facts, equations, theory, and a bibliography of astronomical catalogs are all found in this concise handbook, which has no rival other than its first edition (1982). The chapters of this second edition, which are concerned with observational and experimental astronomy and new advances in astrophysics, have been extensively revised and expanded. The chapters concerned with the more stable theoretical subjects such as relativity, atomic physics, electromagnetic radiation, mathematics, and statistics have been left virtually untouched. The typesetting and paper quality have been improved. This second edition is recommended as a high-quality, standard handbook that should be purchased by all libraries supporting astronomy courses at any level. J. O. Christensen Brigham Young University


Last revised - 28 January 2015

mvz@alum.mit.edu