Radio astronomy is far from being beyond the scope of amateurs astronomers, and this practical, self-contained guide for the newcomer to practical radio astronomey is an ideal introduction. This guide is a must for anyone who wants to join the growing ranks of 21st Century backyard radio astronomers. The first part of the book provides background material and explains (in a non-mathematical way) our present knowledge of the stronger radio sources – those observable by amateurs – including the Sun, Jupiter, Meteors, Galactic and extra-galactic sources. The second part of the book deals not only with observing, but – assuming no prior technical knowledge of electronics or radio theory – takes the reader step-by-step through the process of building and using a backyard radio telescope. There are complete, detailed plans and construction information for a number of amateur radio telescopes, the simplest of which can be put together and working – using only simple tools – in a weekend. For other instruments, there are full details of circuit-board layouts, components to use and (vitally important in radio astronomy) how to construct antennae for radio astronomy.
How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy
Author: David P. D. Munns
Publisher: MIT Press
For more than three thousand years, the science of astronomy depended on visible light. In just the last sixty years, radio technology has fundamentally altered how astronomers see the universe. Combining the wartime innovation of radar and the established standards of traditional optical telescopes, the "radio telescope" offered humanity a new vision of the universe. In A Single Sky, the historian David Munns explains how the idea of the radio telescope emerged from a new scientific community uniting the power of radio with the international aspirations of the discipline of astronomy. The radio astronomers challenged Cold War era rivalries by forging a united scientific community looking at a single sky.Munns tells the interconnecting stories of Australian, British, Dutch, and American radio astronomers, all seeking to learn how to see the universe by means of radio. Jointly, this international array of radio astronomers built a new "community" style of science opposing the "glamour" of nuclear physics. A Single Sky describes a communitarian style of science, a culture of interdisciplinary and international integration and cooperation, and counters the notion that recent science has been driven by competition. Collaboration, or what a prominent radio astronomer called "a blending of radio invention and astronomical insight," produced a science as revolutionary as Galileo's first observations with a telescope. Working together, the community of radio astronomers revealed the structure of the galaxy.
With the increasing sensitivity of the equipment available to the home astronomer, and increasing interest in celestial bodies, this Springer series is a huge helping hand to skywatchers who want to hone their skills. Astronomers' observing guides provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observation techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments. The book reviews the latest findings and satellite observations of Jupiter, as well as presenting superb pictures of Jupiter taken by McAnally himself, who proceeds to explain to the reader how to arrive at such beautiful results.
In 1609 Galileo first used his telescope to kick start the science of observational astronomy - an event that proved to be of enormous historic, scientific, and cultural importance. Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy will feature the life and achievements of Galileo, around which has pivoted the story of four centuries of telescopic astronomy. The book will detail how astronomy has progressed through four centuries and contain glimpses of future space research and astronomy goals. Uniquely, interwoven with the text will be a range of practical projects for backyard astronomers in which to participate, projects that serve to illustrate many of Galileo's scientific discoveries.
Mars, popularly known as the Red Planet because of its distinct color, is visible with the naked eye and is one of very few planets in the Solar System in which it is possible to see weather phenomena and surface features and thus is a favorite for amateur and practical astronomers. Commercially made telescopes can reveal its dusty surface markings, brilliant polar ice caps, and atmospheric phenomena. Many of Mars's features appear to change shape and intensity with the seasons: its polar caps grow and shrink cyclically, clouds billow above the Martian surface, and sometimes great dust storms obscure vast sections of the planet. The first part of Mars and How to Observe It sets out our current knowledge of Mars as a planet - its orbit, physical characteristics, evolution over time, and current geology. A planet-wide tour of Mars's topography is featured, along with clearly labeled maps and close-up images of a variety of features. The second part of the book explains how amateur and practical astronomers can observe Mars successfully. Many aspects are considered in depth, including preparing to observe, calculating phase and tilt, and making observational sketches and drawings. There are also plenty of details about how best to make high-resolution CCD images. Since Mars changes in its apparent size in the sky according to its position in relation to Earth, it is best observed during its closest approaches. Future apparitions (appearances of the Red Planet) are therefore featured.
Philip's Complete Guide to Stargazing is an inspiring introduction to observing the night sky, written by Robin Scagell, author of the Philip's bestseller Stargazing with a Telescope.Scagell first introduces the wonders of the night sky and explains how and why the sky changes during the night and through the seasons. He describes the variety of equipment that can be used - binoculars, telescopes and telescope mounts - with information on what to choose, how to set it up and what to expect to see. There also plenty of tips for those who wish to observe with the naked eye.Next he looks in turn at the Moon, the Solar System, stars and deep sky objects. In each section he describes how to observe your chosen target and what to look for. The text is illustrated with photographs and observational drawings made by talented amateur astronomers, as well as spectacular images returned by spacecraft or taken by large professional telescopes.A month-by-month guide to the constellations is illustrated with maps showing the constellations on view from both northern and southern hemispheres. The author describes the most interesting objects on view each month, with the help of photographs. The guide is applicable to any year.Also included is a complete set of star charts, presenting the whole sky in a series of maps that show stars down to magnitude 5.5 - all stars visible with the naked eye in semi-rural conditions. These maps are drawn with black stars on a white background, so that observers can pencil their own observations on to the charts. Opposite each map is a 'photo-realistic' image which shows how the same portion of the sky appears to the eye.The book finishes with an illustrated and up-to-date A-Z dictionary of astronomy. This covers the stars, planets and galaxies, amateur astronomy and professional observatories, space exploration, famous astronomers, scientific terms, and much more, and is illustrated with photographs, artworks and diagrams. It is an inva
Enrich your next sea vacation with this fun how-to guide to observing and doing astrophotography on water. Collecting together the author’s five decades of astrophotography and teaching experience, this book shares all the practical information you will need to start on your own astronomy adventure. Part I is full of practical advice on what to pack, the best ways to enjoy the night sky from your cruise ship observatory, specific astronomical objects and events to look out for, and myriad other useful tips. Part II gives you a crash course on astrophotography at sea, teaching you the nitty-gritty details of taking pictures of the night sky. Proof that it can be done is provided by the many amazing color astrophotographs taken by the author while following the steps laid out in this book.
Observational Astrophysics follows the general outline of an astrophysics undergraduate curriculum targeting practical observing information to what will be covered at the university level. This includes the basics of optics and coordinate systems to the technical details of CCD imaging, photometry, spectography and radio astronomy. General enough to be used by students at a variety of institutions and advanced enough to be far more useful than observing guides targeted at amateurs, the author provides a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of observational astrophysics at undergraduate level to be used with a university’s teaching telescope. The practical approach takes the reader from basic first year techniques to those required for a final year project. Using this textbook as a resource, students can easily become conversant in the practical aspects of astrophysics in the field as opposed to the classroom.
Written by an accomplished amateur astronomer and available for the first time in North America, this advanced guide is designed to take your evening explorations to new heights. Beginning with an explanation of the fundamental principles of practical astronomy, author North provides essential information on telescope optics, the atmosphere, astrophotography, electronic imaging, and telescope hardware (including how to select equipment and diagnose faulty telescopes). This knowledge is then applied to the full range of celestial bodies accessible by telescope: the solar system, stars and galaxies. For those amateur astronomers who are bored with making simple observations, chapters on photometry, spectroscopy and radio astronomy bring observational astronomy to a level where data of real scientific value can be acquired. This book is a must for any amateur astronomer wanting a new way to look at the sky.