© 2017

Astronomy for Older Eyes

A Guide for Aging Backyard Astronomers


Part of the The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 1-6
  3. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 7-20
  4. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 21-35
  5. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 37-54
  6. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 55-87
  7. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 111-122
  8. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 123-134
  9. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 135-142
  10. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 143-150
  11. James L. Chen, Adam Chen
    Pages 151-154
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 155-233

About this book


This book is for the aging amateur astronomy population, including newcomers to astronomy in their retirement and hobbyists who loved peering through a telescope as a child. Whether a novice or an experienced observer, the practice of astronomy differs over the years. This guide will extend the enjoyment of astronomy well into the Golden Years by addressing topics such as eye and overall health issues, recommendations on telescope equipment, and astronomy-related social activities especially suited for seniors.

Many Baby-Boomers reaching retirement age are seeking new activities, and amateur astronomy is a perfect fit as a leisure time activity. Established backyard astronomers who began their love of astronomy in their youth , meanwhile, may face many physical and mental challenges in continuing their lifelong hobby as they age beyond their 55th birthdays. That perfect telescope purchased when they were thirty years old now suddenly at sixty years old feels like an immovable object in the living room. The 20/20 eyesight has given way to reading glasses or bifocals. Treasured eyepieces feel all wrong. 

Growing old is a natural process of life, but astronomy is timeless. With a little knowledge and some lifestyle adjustments, older astronomers can still enjoy backyard observing well into their seventies, eighties and even into their nineties.


Astronomy as a retirement hobby Using a telescope with bad eyesight Starting to observe as a retiree Star parties for senior citizens Beginning amateur astronomy hobby in old age Getting started observing the sky in late life Retirement hobbies amateur observing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Shenandoah Astronomical SocietyGoreUSA

About the authors

Author – James Chen: Retired Department of the Navy and Federal Aviation Administration Radar and Surveillance Systems Engineer.  Guest lecturer at local Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland astronomy clubs on amateur astronomy topics of eyepiece design and optical filters.  Author of a short Astronomy Magazine article on Dobsonian telescope design November 1989. Served as a sales consultant to two Washington DC area telescope stores for over 30 years.

Graphics Designer - Adam Chen: Former Program Manager of media support for NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. Creator and executive producer of major NASA publications, including the book and web-book application documenting the history of the Space Shuttle Program “Celebrating 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program”.  Currently works in marketing for Brown Advisory, an investment firm in Baltimore, MD.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Astronomy for Older Eyes
  • Book Subtitle A Guide for Aging Backyard Astronomers
  • Authors James L. Chen
  • Series Title The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Patrick Moore Pract.Astron.Series(formerly:Practical Astronomy)
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-52412-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-52413-9
  • Series ISSN 1431-9756
  • Series E-ISSN 2197-6562
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 236
  • Number of Illustrations 30 b/w illustrations, 106 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Popular Science in Astronomy
    Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
  • Buy this book on publisher's site