Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens

Handbook / Manual
Bridges the gap between books aimed at beginners and those on specific topics for advanced amateurs, and covers virtually all aspects of the hobby
Gives in-depth accounts about virtually all the equipment: telescopes, mounts, accessories and imaging equipment that an advancing amateur might use
Discusses how best to make visual observations of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and galaxies and gives details of the many observing aids that will aid amateurs pursuing this most important part of the hobby

By: Ian Morison (Author)

350 pages, 12 colour & 105 b/w illustrations, 2 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Aug 2014 | #208028 | ISBN-13: 9781107619609
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £26.99 $33/€30 approx

About this book

An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens is a highly comprehensive guidebook that bridges the gap between the beginners' and hobbyists' books and the many specialised and subject-specific texts for more advanced amateur astronomers. Written by an experienced astronomer and educator, An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens is a one-stop reference providing extensive information and advice about observing and imaging equipment, with detailed examples showing how best to use them. In addition to providing in-depth knowledge about every type of astronomical telescope and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, two chapters offer advice on making visual observations of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and galaxies. All types of modern astronomical imaging are covered, with step-by-step details given on the use of DSLRs and web-cams for solar, lunar and planetary imaging and the use of DSLRs and cooled CCD cameras for deep sky imaging.


Prologue: a tale of two scopes

1. Telescope and observing fundamentals
2. Refractors
3. Binoculars and spotting scopes
4. The Newtonian telescope and its derivatives
5. The Cassegrain telescope and its derivatives â Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutovs
6. Telescope maintenance, collimation and star testing
7. Telescope accessories: finders, eyepieces and bino-viewers
8. Telescope mounts: alt/az and equatorial with their computerised variants
9. The art of visual observing
10. Visual observations of the Moon and planets
11. Imaging the Moon and planets with DSLRs and web-cams
12. Observing and imaging the Sun in white light and H-alpha
13. Observing with an astro-video camera to 'see' faint objects
14. Deep sky imaging with standars and H-alpha modified DSLR cameras
15. Deep sky imaging with cooled CCD cameras
16. Auto-guiding techniques and equipment
17. Spectral studies of the Sun, stars and galaxies
18. Improving and enhancing images in Photoshop


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Ian Morison spent his professional career as a radio-astronomer at the Jodrell Bank Observatory. The International Astronomical Union has recognised his work by naming an asteroid in his honour. He is an honorary member of the Macclesfield Astronomical Society, which he also helped found, and a council member and past president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, United Kingdom. In 2007 he was appointed Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, the oldest chair of astronomy in the world. He is author of numerous articles for the astronomical press and of a university astronomy textbook, and writes a monthly online sky guide and audio podcast for the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

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