Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data

Handbook / Manual
Teaches the amateur how to do scientifically useful astronomical imaging at a professional level
Explains how to produce useful data in the fields of astrometry and photometry
Details the steps amateurs must take to begin collaborations with professional astronomers

Series: The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series

By: Gerald R Hubbell (Author)

361 pages, 46 colour & 51 b/w illustrations


Paperback | Nov 2012 | #213726 | ISBN-13: 9781461451723
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £24.95 $31/€28 approx

About this book

Scientific Astrophotography is intended for those amateur astronomers who are looking for new challenges, once they have mastered visual observing and the basic imaging of various astronomical objects. It will also be a useful reference for scientifically inclined observers who want to learn the fundamentals of astrophotography with a firm emphasis on the discipline of scientific imaging. This books is not about making beautiful astronomical images; it is about recording astronomical images that are scientifically rigorous and from which accurate data can be extracted.

Scientific Astrophotography is unique in that it gives readers the skills necessary for obtaining excellent images for scientific purposes in a concise and procedurally oriented manner. This not only gets the reader used to a disciplined approach to imaging to maximize quality, but also to maximize the success (and minimize the frustration!) inherent in the pursuit of astrophotography. The knowledge and skills imparted to the reader of Scientific Astrophotography also provide an excellent basis for "beautiful picture" astrophotography!

There is a wealth of information in this book – a distillation of ideas and data presented by a diverse set of sources and based on the most recent techniques, equipment, and data available to the amateur astronomer. There are also numerous practical exercises. Scientific Astrophotography is perfect for any amateur astronomer who wants to go beyond just astrophotography and actually contribute to the science of astronomy.


About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables

Chapter 1: Introduction to Scientific Astrophotography

PART I: Astronomical Imaging System (AIS)
Chapter 2: The "Perfect AIS"
Chapter 3: The Astrograph - The Imaging Telescope
Chapter 4: CCD Chip Performance, CCD Camera Basics, and Image Scaling Factors
Chapter 5: Telescope Mount Factors
Chapter 6: Imaging Filters and Auxiliary Optical/Mechanical/Electrical Components
Chapter 7: Astrograph and CCD Combinations
Chapter 8: Environmental and External Factors

PART II: Astronomical Imaging System (AIS) Integration and Operation
Chapter 9: The Practical AIS - The Sum is Greater than the Parts
Chapter 10: Planning and Executing the AIS Data Acquisition Process
Chapter 11: Image Acquisition and Calibration
Chapter 12: Field Practical Exercises (FPE) - Putting It All Together

PART III: Scientific Image Data Analysis and Advanced Amateur Scientific Projects
Chapter 13: Scientific Image Data Uses and Innovations in AIS Components and Systems
Chapter 14: An Introduction to Scientific Image Data Analysis
Chapter 15: Your Scientific Imaging Program and How to Submit Your Data to Scientific Organizations
Chapter 16: Amateur Astronomer Access to Professional-Level Observatories


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Jerry Hubbell, currently President of the Rappahannock Astronomy Club (, has been an avid amateur astronomer since he was a teenager. However, he developed his passionate interest in astrophotography, and in particular, astrophotography that supports scientific investigation, only about 4 years ago. In that short time, Jerry has become known as a superior astrophotographer, amateur scientist, and mentor to other amateurs who want to foster scientific investigation in the amateur ranks. His career as a nuclear Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) and software engineer for Dominion Virginia Power has trained him well for the attention to detail and precision required for scientific astrophotography. 

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