This book de-mystifies the jargon of webcams and computer processing, and provides detailed hints and tips for imaging the Sun, Moon and planets with a webcam. It demonstrates how inexpensive tools are revolutionizing imaging in amateur astronomy. Anyone with a modest telescope and a webcam can now obtain jaw-dropping lunar and planetary images to rival those taken with mid-range astronomical CCD cameras costing thousands of dollars. A glance through the images in this book shows just what spectacular results can be achieved by using a webcam with your telescope! Your scientific results will be sought by professional astronomers.
Inexpensive webcams are revolutionizing imaging in amateur astronomy by providing an affordable alternative to cooled-chip astronomical CCD cameras, for photographing the brighter astronomical objects. Webcams – costing only a few tens of dollars – are capable of more advanced high resolution work than "normal" digital cameras because their rapid image download speed can freeze fine planetary details, even through the Earth's turbulent atmosphere. Also, their simple construction makes it easy to remove the lens, allowing them to be used at high power at the projected focus of an astronomical telescope. Webcams also connect direct to a PC, so that software can be used to "stack" multiple images, providing a stunning increase in image quality. In the Lunar and Planetary Webcam User’s Guide Martin Mobberley de-mystifies the jargon of webcams and computer processing, and provides detailed hints and tips for imaging the Sun, Moon and planets with a webcam. He looks at each observing target separately, describing and explaining all specialised techniques in context. Glance through the images in this book to see just how much you can – easily – achieve by using a webcam with your telescope!
This book offers a comprehensive introductory guide to "choosing and using" a series LXD55 or LXD75 computer-controlled ("goto") telescope, containing a wealth of useful information for both beginners and more advanced practical amateur astronomers. The manufacturer’s manuals are not nearly detailed enough to be of real help to beginners. No other book offers advanced techniques for more experienced LXD series users.
Both beginning/novice amateur astronomers (at the level of Astronomy and Night Sky magazine readers), as well as more advanced amateur astronomers (level of Sky and Telescope) will find this book invaluable and fascinating. It includes detailed up-to-date information on sources, selection and use of virtually every major type, brand and model of such instruments on today’s market. The book also includes details on the latest released telescope lines, e.g. the 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-inch aperture models of the Meade LX-R series. As a former editor for Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, and Star & Sky magazines, the author is the ideal person to write this book.
Written by an experienced and well-known lunar observer, this is a hands-on primer for the aspiring observer of the Moon. Whether you are a novice or are already experienced in practical astronomy, you will find plenty in this book to help you raise your game to the next level and beyond. In this thoroughly updated second edition, the author provides extensive practical advice and sophisticated background knowledge of the Moon and of lunar observation. It incorporates the latest developments in lunar imaging techniques, including digital photography, CCD imaging and webcam observing, and essential advice on collimating all common types of telescope. Learn what scientists have discovered about our Moon, and what mysteries remain still to be solved. Find out how you can take part in the efforts to solve these mysteries, as well as enjoying the Moon's spectacular magnificence for yourself!
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.
"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.
Emphasizing the underlying unity of all astronomical observations, Astrophysical Techniques, Fifth Edition provides a coherent state-of-the-art account ofthe instruments and techniques used in current astronomy and astrophysics. The fifth edition of this well-respected text includes many new instruments and techniques while removing some that have long been unused by both professional and amateur astronomers. New to the Fifth Edition Brief discussion on the invention and development of the telescope New section that describes the attempts to detect dark matter and dark energy Extended and updated discussions on computer, Internet, and spacecraft-based observations and research By covering the instruments, techniques, theory, and data processing of astrophysics in sufficient depth, this text forms a thorough grounding for beginners and is a handy reference for more advanced students and professionals.
In the Victorian era – or for non-British readers, the mid-to-late nineteenth century – amateur astronomy tended to center on Solar System objects. The Moon and planets, as well as bright comets, were the key objects of interest. The brighter variable stars were monitored, but photography was in its infancy and digital imaging lay a century in the future. Today, at the start of the twenty-first century, amateurs are better equipped than any professionals of the mid-twentieth century, let alone the nineteenth. An amateur equipped with a 30-cm telescope and a CCD camera can easily image objects below magnitude 20 and, from very dark sites, 22 or 23. Such limits would have been within the realm of the 100- and 200-inch reflectors on Mount Wilson and Mount Palomar in the 1950s, but no other observatories. However, even those telescopes took hours to reach such limits, and then the photographic plates had to be developed, fixed, and examined by eye. In the modern era digital images can be obtained in minutes and analyzed ‘on the fly’ while more images are being downloaded. Developments can be e-mailed to other interested amateurs in real time, during an observing session, so that when a cataclysmic event takes place amateurs worldwide know about it. As recently as the 1980s, even professional astronomers could only dream of such instantaneous communication and proc- sing ability.