A valuable reference that fills a number of niches including that of a buyer's guide, technical desk reference and observer's field guide. It documents the past market and its evolution, right up to the present day. In addition to appealing to practical astronomers - and potentially saving them money - it is useful both as a historical reference and as a detailed review of the current market place for this bustling astronomical consumer product. What distinguishes this book from other publications on astronomy is the involvement of observers from all aspects of the astronomical community, and also the major manufacturers of equipment. It not only catalogs the technical aspects of the many modern eyepieces but also documents amateur observer reactions and impressions over the years, using many different eyepieces. Eyepieces are the most talked-about accessories and collectible items available to the amateur astronomer. No other item of equipment commands such vigorous debate, or has evolved into such a remarkable array of forms and functions. 'Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces' provides a vast amount of reference material to point readers towards the best buys and the right eyepieces for different kinds of observing.
As a casual read through any of the major amateur astronomical magazines will demonstrate, there are filters available for all aspects of optical astronomy. This book provides a ready resource on the use of the following filters, among others, for observational astronomy or for imaging: Light pollution filters Planetary filters Solar filters Neutral density filters for Moon observation Deep-sky filters, for such objects as galaxies, nebulae and more Deep-sky objects can be imaged in much greater detail than was possible many years ago. Amateur astronomers can take photographs that rival those of professional observatories! The ability to do this has been brought about by the revolution in CCD cameras and improved filters. The book pinpoints which astronomical objects are best observed with which filters. Post-processing (using Photoshop) is also discussed, since it is helpful in further improving filtered astro images. The last part of the book is an observational guide to 100 deep sky objects that benefit from the use of filters – all personally observed by the author – with notes on the filters used (or potentially of use) in their observation and imaging. There are also notes on their celestial coordinates, magnitudes and other pertinent information.
Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope has been written for the many amateur astronomers who already own, or are intending to purchase, a refracting telescope – perhaps to complement their existing arsenal of larger reflecting telescopes – or for the specialist who requires a particular refractor for serious astronomical applications or nature studies. Four hundred year ago, during the winter of 1609, a relatively unknown Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei designed a spyglass with two crude lenses and turned it skyward. Since then, refractors have retained their dominance over all types of reflector in studies of the Moon, planets and double stars because of the precision of their optics and lack of a central obstruction in the optical path, which causes diffraction effects in all commercially-made reflectors. Most mature amateur astronomers got started with a 60mm refractor, or something similar. Thirty years ago, there was little choice available to the hobbyist, but in the last decade long focus crown-flint achromats have moved aside for some exquisitely crafted apochromatic designs offered by leading commercial manufacturers. There has been a huge increase in the popularity of these telescopes in the last few years, led by a significant increase in the number of companies (particularly, William Optics, Orion USA, StellarVue, SkyWatcher and AstroTech) who are now heavily marketing refractors in the amateur astronomical magazines. In Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope, well-known observer and astronomy writer Neil English celebrates the remarkable history and evolution of the refracting telescope and looks in detail at the instruments, their development and their use. A major feature of this book is the way it compares not only different classes of refractor, but also telescopes of each class that are sold by various commercial manufacturers. The author is perhaps uniquely placed to do this, having used and tested literally hundreds of different refracting telescopes over three decades. Because it includes many diverse subjects such as imaging with consumer-level digital cameras, imaging with webcams, and imaging with astronomical CCD cameras – that are not covered together in equal depth in any other single volume – Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope could become the ‘refractor bible’ for amateur astronomers at all levels, especially those who are interested in imaging astronomical objects of every class.
Amateur astronomy is becoming increasingly popular, mostly because of the availability of relatively low-cost astronomical telescopes such as the Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutovs. The author describes what these instruments will do, how to use them, and which are the best - he draws on 25-years of experience with telescopes. There are sections on accessories, observing techniques, and hints and tips on: cleaning, collimating, maintaining the telescope, mounting, using the telescope in various conditions, computer control, and imaging (wet, digital and CCD). This is the perfect book for amateur astronomers who are about to invest in a new Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov telescope, or for those who already have one and want to get the most out of it.
Offers basic information about astronomy, including its terminology, the best equipment to purchase for stargazing, and images of over one hundred objects to view in the night sky such as star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
Getting the Most from Your Schmidt Cassegrain or Any Catadioptric Telescope
Author: Rod Mollise
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Choosing and Using the New CAT will supersede the author’s successful Choosing and Using a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, which has enjoyed enthusiastic support from the amateur astronomy community for the past seven years. Since the first book was published, a lot has changed in the technology of amateur astronomy. The sophistication and variety of the telescopes available to amateurs has increased dramatically. Computerized SCTs, Maksutov-Cassegrains, and most recently Meade’s new and acclaimed Ritchey-Chrétiens have come to dominate the market. That means that all amateurs considering the purchase of a new telescope (not only a SCT, and not just beginners) will benefit from this detailed guide. Choosing the right telescope for particular kinds of observation (or even for general work) is far from easy – but Rod Mollise gives invaluable advice and guidance.
Binoculars have, for many, long been regarded as an “entry level” observational tool, and relatively few have used them as a serious observing instrument. This is changing! Many people appreciate the relative comfort of two-eyed observing, but those who use binoculars come to realize that they offer more than comfort. The view of the stars is more aesthetically pleasing and therefore binocular observers tend to observe more frequently and for longer periods. “Binocular Astronomy”, 2nd edition, extends its coverage of small and medium binoculars to large and giant (i.e., up to 300mm aperture) binoculars and also binoviewers, which brings the work into the realm of serious observing instruments. Additionally, it goes far deeper into the varying optical characteristics of binoculars, giving newcomers and advanced astronomers the information needed to make informed choices on purchasing a pair. It also covers relevant aspects of the physiology of binocular (as in “both eyes”) observation. The first edition of this title was praised for its suggested objects for observation and especially for the finder charts for each object. In this second edition, this section is expanded in three ways. There are new objects, with more information on each object, and a re-organization of the objects for binoculars for easier selection for readers. “Binocular Astronomy” 2nd Edition puts an emphasis on understanding binoculars and their use. The additional content in this second edition reflects the latest developments in technology, available testing techniques, and practical ideas for binocular use. It also responds to the substantially positive reviews of the first edition, and is now even better suited to its target readership.
Here is a one-volume guide to just about everything computer-related for amateur astronomers! Today’s amateur astronomy is inextricably linked to personal computers. Computer-controlled "go-to" telescopes are inexpensive. CCD and webcam imaging make intensive use of the technology for capturing and processing images. Planetarium software provides information and an easy interface for telescopes. The Internet offers links to other astronomers, information, and software. The list goes on and on. Find out here how to choose the best planetarium program: are commercial versions really better than freeware? Learn how to optimise a go-to telescope, or connect it to a lap-top. Discover how to choose the best webcam and use it with your telescope. Create a mosaic of the Moon, or high-resolution images of the planets... Astronomy with a Home Computer is designed for every amateur astronomer who owns a home computer, whether it is running Microsoft Windows, Mac O/S or Linux. It doesn’t matter what kind of telescope you own either - a small refractor is just as useful as a big "go-to" SCT for most of the projects in this book.