Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery

Handbook / Manual

By: William Liller

272 pages, 85 b/w illus.

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2010 | #184097 | ISBN-13: 9780521126052
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £30.99 $38/€35 approx

About this book

Would you like to discover a comet? Or maybe you would like to be the first person on Earth - perhaps in the Universe - to recognise a celestial newcomer such as a nova or supernova. This Guide tells you how to become an astronomical discoverer using only modest equipment. It describes what approaches to take in searching the night skies for the unusual and the unexpected. Included are 20 contributions from both amateur and professional astronomers who are world famous for their discoveries. This book covers all the kinds of objects that an amateur can hope to find as a result of systematic searching.

Personal contributions from noted discoverers such as David Levy and Minoru Honda (comets), Bob Evans (supernovae), Eleanor Helin and Brian Manning (asteroids) and Mike Collins and Dan Kaiser (variable stars) reveal the secrets of their successful methods. The visual, photographic and electronic search techniques of the early nineties, are described as well as instructions on ways of reporting discoveries. Extensive appendices pack in a wealth of useful data for every intrepid discoverer of cosmic phenomena.

Reissue of a book first published in 1992.

Review of the hardback: 'This gem of a book is designed to be inspirational ... I have no doubt that as a result of this book new discoverers and new discoveries will follow. A compelling read.' Journal of the British Astronomical Association Review of the hardback: '... a readable and illuminating guide ...' Science Review of the hardback: ' ... pleasure to find a well written volume with an original theme.' Webb Society Reviews


Preface; 1. To begin with: initial thoughts and comments; 2. Comets and their kin: general characteristics; 3. Novae and supernovae: nuclear runaways; 4. Asteroids, variables and other interesting phenomena; 5. The discoverers: in their own words; 6. Seeing it first: visual searches; 7. Catching it on film: visual patrols; 8. Going modern: electronic imaging systems; 9. Telling the world: reporting discoveries; Appendices; Index.

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