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OITHv6.2 is the newest pocket-size astronomy deep-sky fieldbook for viewing the night sky from the northern hemisphere. Includes descriptions and mapped locations of 750 celestial objects of all types to magnitude 10, all with 1.2020 RA/Dec addresses.

OITHv6.2 contents Objects in the Heavens book view
by the numbers:

• 132 pages, lay-flat spiral-binding, soft cover,
digest size: 5.5" x 8.5"
• 750 objects to magnitude 10
• 241 non-Messier or NGC objects, 28 of which are binocular-class
• 219 "city" objects to mag7 are specially highlighted
• 172 double stars and multiple stars
• 219 binocular-class objects with separate symbol
• 126 visual associate connections
• 112 lunar targets
•   91 objects from mag 10.1 to 10.5
• 203 Galaxies
• 385 Open clusters
•   88 Globular clusters
• 132 Nebulae
•   32 Asterisms
• 166 single and red/carbon stars (red stars marked in the maps with ®)
•   80 maps (constellational, seasonal, insets and groupings) and graphics
•   61 observable northern constellations, arranged alphabetically
•   38 astronomy catalogs are referenced
•   24 photographs by Naoyuki Kurita
Grouping stories present larger chunks of the sky to learn more constellations
• 7 pages featuring the Lunar 100 (and then some) with photos and locations showing when and where to look
• Encyclopedic data on planets, stars, meteors
• Common names list
• Modern Messier list of 110 objects with Marathon constellation order
• Complete object number cross-reference and mapping
• Cross referenced to page numbers in PSA and SA2K

"A small, handy observing guide."
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All known objects to magnitude 10 or brighter, those visible with a 6-inch reflector or larger, are detailed and mapped. 219 entries of mag 7 and brighter ("city objects") are specially highlighted for use with average binoculars. Data has been assembled from 38 astronomical catalogs, including 241 other-than-Messier or NGC objects. Generous space is provided in the back for personal observation sketching and notes.

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In all of my complaining about my difficulty in locating this book, I really neglected to let you know just how highly I regard your efforts. I have the S&T Sky Atlas (and 4 other atlases as well), Webb's Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, the Observing Handbook and Catalogue of Deep Sky Objects, Turn Left at Orion, Night Watch, Deep Sky Companion: The Messier Objects, S&T's Double Stars for Small Telescopes, S&T's Celestial Sampler, the three volume Burnham's set, and a hand full of older observing books from the 1960's when I was a kid. However, I can say in all honesty that the book I enjoy using the most (and the most useful one to have available at the telescope) is your little observers guide. It has everything I want in an easy to use format and a compact package. It is just a well thought out piece of work and I thank you for having taken the time to put it together in the form that you did. It is nearly perfect in size, variety, and comprehensiveness, and it is easy to use. What more could one ask for?
-- Ronald Brandolini

OITH is designed for both the casual viewer and experienced deep-sky hunter. By having useful information at your fingertips, in a format that's easy to use at home or at a dark site, you spend less time searching and more time viewing.

"A wealth of information in a clear, concise package."
Astronomy Magazine
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Have you wondered what you can actually see in the night sky? OITHv6 will help you find more objects from city sites or dark sites, with telescopes or binoculars.

"This is a very useful publication."
Faith Jordan, The Web Society
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It's an interactive reference book which brings together just the facts – and then some – to be a complete, useful and entertaining viewing companion. While OITH is not a photo book, the images included are close to what you can expect to see in your eyepiece.

OITH provides many answers to: "What ALL can I see and where is it?" by providing only those objects which are potentially viewable from the Northern Hemisphere, formatted to simplify finding these visual treats with 74 detailed constellation and seasonal maps. Featured are modern celestial locations (1.2020 addresses), available descriptions, extensive cross-referencing, common names list and historic observational comments from T.W.Webb. The book's compact size also makes it ideal for camping and hiking.

"Most astro books sit on the shelves gathering dust, but yours is a true hobbiest book."
Sergio Zoruba

An exciting new way of observing the Moon!

Aside from copious details on deep-sky objects, 7 pages are included on viewing the Moon so you can follow what's visible as Earth's "night light" goes through its phases during the month. (scroll to the bottom of THIS PAGE to see a sample spread)


Feedback and reader opinions are necessary for improving this effort. I now enjoy a great relationship with some amazing people who are properly thanked on the front acknowledgement page. The reviewers' page has many wonderful comments from astronomers of all experience levels, beginner to professional.

I hope you like this book as much as they do.


About the Author

I enjoy the quiet of the country and my preference for hobbies springs from that attraction. Astronomy has not only been a particular focus of study culminating with this book, it's best done far from city lights and Chicago has a lot of them. My other interest, hang gliding, dates from 1977 and is also best done in places far from the city.

My fascination with astronomy had several false starts but, like an old Harley-Davidson in need of a tune-up, it needed one more kick to get it going. My father pointed out a very red Mars when I was about 8 or 9, then I witnessed the 1966 Leonids, spent a year near the equator and saw our neighbor galaxies. None of that really worked. The final kick start was seeing Jupiter through a friend's 8" reflector in '94. Wow! I had to learn more.

What started out as simply "what can I see" with my new (very old and rescued) 6-inch reflector lead to a quest to find every object of magnitude 10 or brighter. The mag-10 limit was originally set as it's the practical limit of the 6" scope in average skies. This turned out to be a fair limiting factor as more and more objects were uncovered. The search itself involved dozens of libraries, 100's of books and magazines, and literally thousands of websites. Each time new data was collected, the humble list increased, eventually growing beyond my wildest dreams, from 260 total objects in the first edition to now an eye-filling 750. That basic first list took on a life of its own and, of course, became the book presented here.

The photography used in the book since the first edition was graciously provided by Naoyuki Kurita of Tokyo, Japan. His website is a terrific resource for everyone.

Thank you for considering OITH for your library.


Sunset at my favorite viewing site near Cullom IL. Now I have similar skies in my Kentucky back yard.

Cullom at Sunset

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Copyright © 2020 Peter Birren
This page last updated March 16, 2020







"I always thought that Pocket Sky Atlas was a great book, but it is an atlas, not an observing guide. If I want to know what NGC1023 is, for example, I'd need to look it up in another reference. You solved that problem."

Alvin Huey,
Acclaimed author of numerous deep-deep-sky viewing books




"OITH, you had me at "convenient at-the-scope use", and delivered just what this observer needed to enjoy my time at the eyepiece. Well done."

John Kramer
"At the Eyepiece"





"If you could have
just one field
which one
should it be?"

Jim Barnett
on Cloudy Nights

(link to article)