Adam Hart-Davis explores the world of Britain's amateur astronomers. There are more than 40,000 of them, looking at everything from planets to variable stars and supernovae. But while the gentleman hobbyist once had the skies to himself and could make pioneering discoveries, the last century saw amateurs eclipsed by high-tech professionals. Now, increasingly sophisticated home equipment means that the amateur community has entered a new, collaborative relationship with the professionals.
Contributors include bestselling novelist Terry Pratchett, who shows off his prized TARDIS - his own private observatory in Wiltshire; Professor Colin Pillinger of the Beagle 2 project; and the godfather of popular astronomy, Sir Patrick Moore, who reflects on his lifetime's work.