This is the first non-technical book on spectroscopy written specifically for practical amateur astronomers. It includes all the science necessary for a qualitative understanding of stellar spectra, but avoids a mathematical treatment which would alienate many of its intended readers. Any amateur astronomer who carries out observational spectroscopy and who wants a non-technical account of the physical processes which determine the intensity and profile morphology of lines in stellar spectra will find this is the only book written specially for them. It is an ideal companion to existing books on observational amateur astronomical spectroscopy.
Grating Spectroscopes and How to Use Them is written for amateur astronomers who are just getting into this field of astronomy. Transmission grating spectroscopes look like simple filters and are designed to screw into place on the eyepiece of a telescope for visual use, or into the camera adapter for digicam or CCD imaging. Using the most popular commercially made filter gratings – Rainbow Optics (US) and Star Analyzer (UK) – as examples, this book provides the reader with information on how to set up and use the grating one needs to obtain stellar spectrograms. It also discusses several methods on analyzing the results. This book is written in an easy to read style, perfect for getting started on the first night using the spectroscope, and specifically showing how the simple transmission filter is used on the camera or telescope. No heavy mathematics or formulas are involved, and there are many practical hints and tips – something that is almost essential to success when starting out. This book helps readers to achieve quick results, and by following the worked examples, they can successfully carry out basic analysis of the spectra.
This book contains everything an amateur astronomer needs to know to begin observing whilst going relatively deeply into the subject for those who are already involved. Covers a very wide range of available equipment, from simple DIY spectroscopes to the most expensive commercially-made instruments. Describes basic principles so that the reader understands how to analyse the spectra he/she sees or records. Contributions by leading amateurs astronomers from the USA and Europe.
This is a book about the physics of stars and starlight. The story of starlight is truly fascinating. Astronomers analyze and interpret the light from stars using photometry and spectroscopy, then inspirational detective work combines with the laws of physics to reveal the temperatures, masses, luminosities and outer structure of these far away points of light. The laws of physics themselves enable us to journey to the very center of a star and to understand its inner structure and source of energy! Starlight provides an in-depth study of stellar astrophysics that requires only basic high school mathematics and physics, making it accessible to all amateur astronomers. Starlight teaches amateur astronomers about the physics of stars and starlight in a friendly, easy-to-read way. The reader will take away a profoundly deeper understanding of this truly fascinating subject – and find his practical observations more rewarding and fulfilling as a result.
An Introduction to the Atomic and Molecular Physics of Astronomical Spectra Second Edition
Author: Jonathan Tennyson
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company
Nearly all information about the Universe comes from the study of light as it reaches us. However, understanding the information contained in this light requires both telescopes capable of resolving it into its component colours and a detailed knowledge of the quantum mechanical behaviour of atoms and molecules. This book, which is based on a third-year undergraduate course taught by the author at University College London, presents the basic atomic and molecular physics necessary to understand and interpret astronomical spectra. It explains how and what kind of information can be extracted from these spectra. Contemporary astronomical spectra are used extensively to study the underlying atomic physics and illustrate the results.
Richard O. Gray,Christopher J. Corbally,Adam J. Burgasser
Author: Richard O. Gray,Christopher J. Corbally,Adam J. Burgasser
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Written by leading experts in the field, Stellar Spectral Classification is the only book to comprehensively discuss both the foundations and most up-to-date techniques of MK and other spectral classification systems. Definitive and encyclopedic, the book introduces the astrophysics of spectroscopy, reviews the entire field of stellar astronomy, and shows how the well-tested methods of spectral classification are a powerful discovery tool for graduate students and researchers working in astronomy and astrophysics. The book begins with a historical survey, followed by chapters discussing the entire range of stellar phenomena, from brown dwarfs to supernovae. The authors account for advances in the field, including the addition of the L and T dwarf classes; the revision of the carbon star, Wolf-Rayet, and white dwarf classification schemes; and the application of neural nets to spectral classification. Copious figures illustrate the morphology of stellar spectra, and the book incorporates recent discoveries from earth-based and satellite data. Many examples of spectra are given in the red, ultraviolet, and infrared regions, as well as in the traditional blue-violet optical region, all of which are useful for researchers identifying stellar and galactic spectra. This essential reference includes a glossary, handy appendixes and tables, an index, and a Web-based resource of spectra. In addition to the authors, the contributors are Adam J. Burgasser, Margaret M. Hanson, J. Davy Kirkpatrick, and Nolan R. Walborn.
Observing variable stars is one of the major contributions amateur astronomers make to science. There are 36,000 variable stars listed in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars, so it is clearly impossible for the limited number of professional observatories to target even the majority of them. That's where amateur astronomers come in - thousands of them turning their telescopes to the sky every night. Variable star observing is the most popular of "real science" activities for amateurs, and Gerry Good's book provides everything needed. The first part of the book provides a highly detailed account of the various classes of variable star, with examples, illustrations and physical descriptions. The second section covers practical aspects of observing, everything from preparation and planning, through observing techniques, to data management and reduction.
This practical manual provides essential material for the extensive world-wide community of non-professional astronomers. Every page of the book is alive with the infectious enthusiasm of the author whose expertise, knowledge and teaching experience provides easy access to the fascination and enjoyment of sky-watching. Provides essential material for the extensive world-wide community of non-professional astronomers The author’s enthusiasm is reflected in every page, and his expertise, knowledge and teaching experience provides easy access to the fascination and enjoyment of sky-watching Includes chapters on the celestial sphere, the sun and sundials, star positions, star maps, planispheres and nomograms, and light and basic optics
Revised and expanded, the second edition of this popular book provides a thorough introduction to stellar spectra. Each chapter explores a different star type, including new classes L and T. With modern digital spectra and updates from two decades of astronomical discoveries, it is invaluable for amateur astronomers and students.
This book was first published in 2007. Variable stars are those that change brightness. Their variability may be due to geometric processes such as rotation, or eclipse by a companion star, or physical processes such as vibration, flares, or cataclysmic explosions. In each case, variable stars provide unique information about the properties of stars, and the processes that go on within them. This book provides a concise overview of variable stars, including a historical perspective, an introduction to stars in general, the techniques for discovering and studying variable stars, and a description of the main types of variable stars. It ends with short reflections about the connection between the study of variable stars, and research, education, amateur astronomy, and public interest in astronomy. This book is intended for anyone with some background knowledge of astronomy, but is especially suitable for undergraduate students and experienced amateur astronomers who can contribute to our understanding of these important stars.
How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
Author: Gerald Hubbell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Scientific Astrophotography is intended for those amateur astronomers who are looking for new challenges, once they have mastered visual observing and the basic imaging of various astronomical objects. It will also be a useful reference for scientifically inclined observers who want to learn the fundamentals of astrophotography with a firm emphasis on the discipline of scientific imaging. This books is not about making beautiful astronomical images; it is about recording astronomical images that are scientifically rigorous and from which accurate data can be extracted. This book is unique in that it gives readers the skills necessary for obtaining excellent images for scientific purposes in a concise and procedurally oriented manner. This not only gets the reader used to a disciplined approach to imaging to maximize quality, but also to maximize the success (and minimize the frustration!) inherent in the pursuit of astrophotography. The knowledge and skills imparted to the reader of this handbook also provide an excellent basis for “beautiful picture” astrophotography! There is a wealth of information in this book – a distillation of ideas and data presented by a diverse set of sources and based on the most recent techniques, equipment, and data available to the amateur astronomer. There are also numerous practical exercises. Scientific Astrophotography is perfect for any amateur astronomer who wants to go beyond just astrophotography and actually contribute to the science of astronomy.
Tools for amateur astronomers who wish to go beyond CCD imaging and step into ‘serious’ science. The text offers techniques for gathering, analyzing, and publishing data, and describes joint projects in which amateurs and students can take part. Readers learn to recognize and avoid common errors in gathering photometry data, with detailed examples for analysis. Includes reviews of available software, with screen shots and useful tips.
This handbook is a guide to exploring the classical night sky and its wonderful telescopic sights. All 88 officially recognized constellations are presented in natural groups which are related by their origin and location in the sky. Each group is explained by a fascinating story which tells what each constellation represents, how it appears in the sky, and why the other constellations of the group are close by, or related in some other manner. Some of these stories are classical myths which show how and why ancient cultures saw the constellations as related groups. Others are about more modern astronomers who sought recognition by filling in the gaps between the ancient constellations with inventions of their own. Both types of stories are crafted to make the constellation groups memorable, so that amateur astronomers can not only locate and recognize the constellations more easily, but also be able to pinpoint the celestial objects they contain more quickly. Specific instructions are given for finding each constellation, how to spell and pronounce the constellation and star names, plus the origins of the star names. Finder charts show each constellation group and a large area of sky around the group. These charts also indicate pointer stars which aid in finding the constellations. More detailed charts show how each constellation figure is visualized through simple line drawings. For each constellation, there is a table of about 10 to 30 telescopic objects selected to include a wide range of difficulty. Some can be glimpsed with the unaided eye, others require a 12 or 14 inch telescope. All the most prominent telescopic objects are included, plus a varied selection of interesting, but much more difficult objects. The tables include each object’s celestial coordinates, type, size, brightness, other information specific to each type of object, and a recommendation of the appropriate telescope size needed for good viewing. There are also photographs of constellations and telescopic objects, detailed locator charts for the hard-to-find objects, and plots of binary star orbital motions. The same charts used to show the constellation figures are repeated, with the addition of symbols indicating the locations of all the selected telescopic objects. An index and seven appendices help the user find specific objects or classes of objects.
Radio astronomy is a mystery to the majority of amateur astronomers, yet it is the best subject to turn to when desirous of an expanded knowledge of the sky. This guide intends to instruct complete newcomers to radio astronomy, and provides help for the first steps on the road towards the study of this fascinating subject. In addition to a history of the science behind the pursuit, directions are included for four easy-to-build projects, based around long-term NASA and Stanford Solar Center projects. The first three projects constitute self-contained units available as kits, so there is no need to hunt around for parts. The fourth – more advanced – project encourages readers to do their own research and track down items. Getting Started in Radio Astronomy provides an overall introduction to listening in on the radio spectrum. With details of equipment that really works, a list of suppliers, lists of online help forums, and written by someone who has actually built and operated the tools described, this book contains everything the newcomer to radio astronomy needs to get going.
Designed for anyone who wishes to learn the constellations or observe the best and brightest deep sky objects and double stars, this book contains an alphabetical list of constellations complete with star maps, historical background, and highlights of deep sky objects. Each entry contains position and physical information on enough stars to support astronomers in star-hopping, swinging the telescope from star to star to star to arrive at a faint target. It provides a carefully selected list of accessible and rewarding deep sky objects. Full-color maps show the constellations, with star types (spectral and physical) indicated by the colors used on the map. Extended objects such as galaxies and nebulae are shown with the approximate apparent size in the sky. With unmatched thoroughness and accessibility, this is a constellation atlas that makes the ideal companion to a night's telescope viewing, for novices and expert amateur astronomers alike. Easy to navigate and refer to, it is the key that unlocks the door to greater night sky exploration.
Recording, Processing, Analysis and Interpretation
Author: Marc F. M. Trypsteen,Richard Walker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This accessible guide presents the astrophysical concepts behind astronomical spectroscopy, covering both the theory and the practical elements of recording, processing, analysing and interpreting your spectra. It covers astronomical objects, such as stars, planets, nebulae, novae, supernovae, and events such as eclipses and comet passages. Suitable for anyone with only a little background knowledge and access to amateur-level equipment, the guide's many illustrations, sketches and figures will help you understand and practise this scientifically important and growing field of amateur astronomy, up to the level of Pro-Am collaborations. Accessible to non-academics, it benefits many groups from novices and learners in astronomy clubs, to advanced students and teachers of astrophysics. This volume is the perfect companion to the Spectral Atlas for Amateur Astronomers, which provides detailed commented spectral profiles of more than 100 astronomical objects.
A Guide to the Spectra of Astronomical Objects and Terrestrial Light Sources
Author: Richard Walker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Featuring detailed commented spectral profiles of more than one hundred astronomical objects, in colour, this spectral guide documents most of the important and spectroscopically observable objects accessible using typical amateur equipment. It allows you to read and interpret the recorded spectra of the main stellar classes, as well as most of the steps from protostars through to the final stages of stellar evolution as planetary nebulae, white dwarfs or the different types of supernovae. It also presents integrated spectra of stellar clusters, galaxies and quasars, and the reference spectra of some terrestrial light sources, for calibration purposes. Whether used as the principal reference for comparing with your recorded spectra or for inspiring independent observing projects, this atlas provides a breathtaking view into our Universe's past. The atlas is accompanied and supplemented by Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers, which explains in detail the methods for recording, processing, analysing and interpreting your spectra.
Astrophysics is often –with some justification – regarded as incomprehensible without the use of higher mathematics. Consequently, many amateur astronomers miss out on some of the most fascinating aspects of the subject. Astrophysics Is Easy! cuts through the difficult mathematics and explains the basics of astrophysics in accessible terms. Using nothing more than plain arithmetic and simple examples, the workings of the universe are outlined in a straightforward yet detailed and easy-to-grasp manner. The original edition of the book was written over eight years ago, and in that time, advances in observational astronomy have led to new and significant changes to the theories of astrophysics. The new theories will be reflected in both the new and expanded chapters. A unique aspect of this book is that, for each topic under discussion, an observing list is included so that observers can actually see for themselves the concepts presented –stars of the spectral sequence, nebulae, galaxies, even black holes. The observing list has been revised and brought up-to-date in the Second Edition.
Ken M. Harrison's latest book is a complete guide for amateur astronomers who want to obtain detailed narrowband images of the Sun using a digital spectroheliograph (SHG). The SHG allows the safe imaging of the Sun without the expense of commercial ‘etalon’ solar filters. As the supporting software continues to be refined, the use of the digital spectroheliograph will become more and more mainstream and has the potential to replace the expensive solar filters currently in use. The early chapters briefly explain the concept of the SHG and how it can produce an image from the solar spectrum. A comparison of the currently available narrow band solar filters is followed by a detailed analysis of the critical design, construction and assembly features of the SHG. The design and optimum layout of the instrument is discussed to allow evaluation of performance. This information explains how to assemble a fully functional SHG using readily available components. The software required to process the images is explained and step by step examples provided, with various digital instruments around the world highlighted based on input from many experienced amateurs who have shared their experience in building and using their spectroheliographs. The final chapters provide a historical overview of the traditional spectroheliograph and the later spectrohelioscope, from the initial G.E.Hale and Deslandres concepts of the 1890’s through to the later work by Veio and others. The construction and performance of various instruments is covered in detail, and provides a unique opportunity to record and appreciate the groundbreaking researches carried out by amateurs in the 20th century. This is an absolutely up to date book which fully addresses the watershed, game changing influence of the digital imaging revolution on the traditional spectroheliograph.
Amateur astronomers interested in learning more about astronomical spectroscopy now have the guide they need. It provides detailed information about how to get started inexpensively with low-resolution spectroscopy, and then how to move on to more advanced high-resolution spectroscopy. Uniquely, the instructions concentrate very much on the practical aspects of using commercially-available spectroscopes, rather than simply explaining how spectroscopes work. The book includes a clear explanation of the laboratory theory behind astronomical spectrographs, and goes on to extensively cover the practical application of astronomical spectroscopy in detail. Four popular and reasonably-priced commercially available diffraction grating spectrographs are used as examples. The first is a low-resolution transmission diffraction grating, the Star Analyser spectrograph. The second is an inexpensive fiber optic coupled bench spectrograph that can be used to learn more about spectroscopy. The third is a newcomer, the ALPY 600 spectrograph. The fourth spectrograph considered is at the other end of the market both in performance and cost, the high-resolution Lhires III. While considerably more expensive, this is a popular and excellent scientific instrument, that allows more advanced amateur astronomers to produce scientifically valuable data. With all of these tools in place, the amateur astronomer is well-prepared to forger deeper into the night sky using spectroscopy.