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Astrometry for Astrophysics: Methods, Models, and Applications

  • Provides a thorough introduction to astrometry, making it ideal for students with no prior background in the subject
  • Organized for use on a one-semester course that can be easily integrated into an astrophysics curriculum
  • Shows how a variety of astronomical problems can be solved using astrometric methods, serving to highlight astrometry's crucial role in the future of modern astrophysics
  • Written by worldwide experts in the field

By: William F van Altena (Author)

440 pages, 74 b/w illustrations, 18 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Nov 2012 | #201805 | ISBN-13: 9780521519205
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £56.99 $73/€65 approx

About this book

The field of astrometry, the precise measurement of the positions, distances and motions of astronomical objects, has been revolutionized in recent years. As we enter the high-precision era, it will play an increasingly important role in all areas of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. This edited text starts by looking at the opportunities and challenges facing astrometry in the twenty-first century, from space and ground.<br><br>The new formalisms of relativity required to take advantage of micro-arcsecond astrometry are then discussed, before the reader is guided through the basic methods required to transform our observations from detected photons to the celestial sphere. The final section of the text shows how a variety of astronomical problems can be solved using astrometric methods. Bringing together work from a broad range of experts in the field, this is the most complete textbook on observational astrometry and is ideal for graduate students and researchers alike.


Part I. Astrometry in the Twenty-First Century
1. Opportunities and challenges for astrometry in the twenty-first century M. Perryman
2. Astrometric satellites L. Lindegren
3. Ground-based opportunities for astrometry N. Zacharias

Part II. Relativistic Foundations of Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics
4. Vectors in astrometry, an introduction L. Lindegren
5. Relativistic principles of astrometry and celestial mechanics S. Klioner
6. Celestial mechanics of the N-body problem S. Klioner
7. Celestial coordinate systems and positions N. Capitaine and M. Stavinschi
8. Fundamental algorithms for celestial coordinates and positions P. Wallace

Part III. Observing through the Atmosphere
9. The Earth's atmosphere: refraction, turbulence, delays and limitations to astrometic precision W. van Altena and E. Fomalont
10. Astrometry with ground-based diffraction-limited imaging A. Ghez
11. Optical interferometry A. Glindermann
12. Radio interferometry E. Fomalont

Part IV. From Detected Photons to the Celestial Sphere
13. Geometrical optics and astrometry D. Schroeder
14. CCD imaging detectors S. Howell
15. Using CCDs in the time-delayed integration mode D. Rabinowitz
16. Statistical astronomy A. Brown
17. Analyzing poorly-sampled images: HST imaging astrometry J. Anderson
18. Image deconvolution J. Nunez
19. From measures to celestial coordinates Z. H. Tang and W. van Altena
20. Astrometric catalogs: concepts, history and necessity C. Lopez
21. Trigonometric parallaxes F. Benedict and B. McArthur

Part V. Applications of Astrometry to Topics in Astrophysics
22. Galactic structure astrometry R. Mendez
23. Binary and multiple stars E. Horch
24. Binaries: HST, Hipparcos and Gaia D. Pourbaix
25. Star clusters I. Platais
26. Solar System astrometry F. Mignard
27. Extrasolar planets A. Sozzetti
28. Astrometric measurement and cosmology R. Easther


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William van Altena is Professor Emeritus in the Astronomy Department, Yale University, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory astronomy, astronomical observing and astrometry for over 40 years. He served as Director of the Yerkes Observatory, Chair of the Yale Astronomy Department and was Team Leader for the Hubble Space Telescope's Astrometry Instrument Definition Team and a member of the HST Astrometry Science Team. His current research involves studies of the kinematical structure of the Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere, binary stars and the use of high technology cameras to study galaxy remnants that are merging with the Milky Way.

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