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.
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.
"How to Observe the Sun Safely, 2nd Edition" gives all the basic information and advice the amateur astronomer needs to get started in observing our own ever-fascinating star. Unlike many other astronomical objects, you do not need a large telescope or expensive equipment to observe the Sun. And it is possible to take excellent pictures of the Sun with today's low-cost digital cameras! This title concentrates on providing practical, on-the-spot advice to the amateur astronomer who is interested in observing the Sun, using commercially available equipment. This book surveys what is visible on the Sun, before describing how to record solar features and measure solar activity levels. There is also an account of how to use H-alpha and Calcium-K filters to observe and record prominences and other features of the solar chromosphere, the Sun's inner atmosphere. Because we are just entering a period of high activity on the Sun, following a long, quiet period, many more amateur astronomers will become interested in observing it. The second edition includes an update of Chapter 2 to reflect advances in solar observing equipment since 2002, and a section on building a solar projection box, originally included in the main body of this chapter has been moved to Appendix A. Also Chapter 6 thru 8 have been completely revised to give amateur astronomers advice on how to use film to photograph the Sun, and how to use digital cameras. This new edition also includes more than twice as many illustrations as the first and almost half of them new images.
Radio telescopes have transformed our understanding of the Universe. Pulsars, quasars, Big Bang cosmology: all are discoveries of the new science of radio astronomy. Here, Francis Graham-Smith describes the birth, development, and maturity of radio astronomy, from the first discovery of cosmic radio waves to its present role as a major part of modern astronomy. Radio is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, covering infra-red, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma-rays, and Graham-Smith explains why it is that radio waves give us a unique view of the Universe. Tracing the development of radio telescopes he shows how each new idea in observing techniques has led to new discoveries, and looks at the ways in which radio waves are generated in the various cosmic sources, relating this to the radio world of mobile phones, radio and television channels, wireless computer connections, and remote car locks. Today a new generation of radio telescopes promises to extend our understanding of the Universe into further, as yet unknown, fields. Huge new radio telescopes are being built, such as the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), Low Frequency Array for Radioastronomy (LOFAR), and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Radio telescopes on spacecraft such as the Cosmic Microwave Explorer (COBE) and Planck are tracing in minute detail the faint but universal radio signal from the expanding early Universe. Graham-Smith shares the excitement of discovering the wonders of the radio universe, and the possibilities promised by the new age of giant radio telescopes.
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.
Ice and Fire: Great Comets to Come was written because a special celestial event climaxes towards the end of 2013 – the arrival, fresh from the Oort Cloud, of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). By all predictions – even the most pessimistic ones – this comet is set to be one of, perhaps the most, dazzling comet seen in modern history and has the astronomical world buzzing with anticipation. Skywatchers have already been primed for C/2012 (ISON) earlier in 2013 with the apparition of another naked-eye comet, C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), and following C/2012 S1 (ISON) there is the prospect of 2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) reaching naked eye visibility in August 2014. Future bright cometary prospects are also discussed, taking into account the latest predictions. Examining the origin and nature of comets using examples of great comets from the past, this book sets the scene for the arrival of Comet C/2012 S1 and those following it over the next few years in the inner Solar System. Skywatchers and amateur astronomers can learn how to follow, observe and record comets. There is also a guide on how to keep abreast of the latest cometary discoveries and how to use a variety of reputable sources, including publications, websites, programs and apps to visualize and plan observations. The role of the amateur in cometary discovery also is featured, as well as details on how professional astronomers plan to get the most ‘science’ out of cometary apparitions, how and why professionals go about discovering comets, and upcoming plans to visit comets with space probes (and later, perhaps, human visits). Illustrations provide historic images of comets, images from space probes and images of the latest bright comets. Orbital plots and easy-to-follow sky charts are also included. This book is a unique guide that sets the scene by giving a comprehensive history of comets and examples of great comets throughout history and informs the reader about the nature and origins of this spectacular occurence. Expectations are fully covered by explaining not only what the regular person can expect to see, but how amateur astronomers can plan observations and what steps the professionals are taking to ‘get the most science’ from this exciting event.
Proceedings of the MPA/ESO/MPE/USM Joint Astronomy Conference held in Garching, Germany, 6-11 August 2006
Author: Hans Böhringer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This volume documents recent developments that have advanced our understanding of the heating and cooling mechanisms in galaxies and galaxy clusters. Chapters detail results from multi-wavelength observations and advances in numerical hydrodynamical simulations. An additional section covers new research findings on feedback and self-regulatory mechanisms during cosmic structure formation in general and in galaxy formation in particular.
This book outlines the fundamentals of this fascinating branch of astronomy, and explores the forefront of astronomical research. The author’s passion for the topic shines with an intensity that rivals the book’s many colourful illustrations, and will deeply inspire the reader. The cogently written text introduces the reader to the astronomy of galaxies, their structure, their active galactic nuclei, their evolution and their large scale distribution. Starting with a detailed description of our Milky Way, and a review of modern observational and theoretical cosmology, the book goes on to examine the formation of structures and astronomical objects in the early universe.
How can we know the microscopic world without a measurement theory? What are the general conditions of the world that make possible such knowledge? What are the presuppositions of physical theories? This book includes an analysis of quantum field theory, and quantum mechanics and interacting systems are addressed in a unified framework.