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Many amateur astronomers are short of time. A full-time career usually takes up most waking hours, and there very often simply isn't time for leisurely observing sessions, at least a few hours' sleep being something of an imperative during the week. Fortunately, modern technological advances such as computer-controlled telescopes equipped with GPS, north-seeking and level detection, have made setting up a telescope much quicker. Today's imaging systems enable time-pressed astronomers to take excellent astrophotographs of many objects without the hours-long exposures that used to be a feature of this aspect of astronomy.
This book explains what to attempt in a short timescale (and what not to), and how to use today's top-value commercially-made equipment to get the most astronomy out of the least time. "Make Time for the Stars" showcases a wide array of quickly performed astronomical projects, including various novel or new approaches to observing. There are also useful tips for maximizing and enhancing the user's time at the telescope, extracting optimal performance, efficient set-up, and easily carried out optical maintenance. Significantly, the book features detailed information on alternative imaging techniques, which can provide exceptional levels of realism for far simpler and less time-consuming effort.
There is also guidance on equipment, such as, what to look for and also what to avoid, so that the reader may acquire only what is appropriate, and not more, for the kind of results he/she may have in mind. A wide range of available budgets is taken into account. The book concludes with a guide for the efficient organization of deep-space observing (an area which is often frustrating and unproductive when time is limited), easy daytime observing projects, and an extensive Internet resource section.
Section 1: The Busy Astronomer.
Making the Right Equipment Choices.
How to Expand Your Potential.
Maximizing Your Time at the Telescope.
Section II: The Moon. The First Port of Call.
The Moon, Close Up and Personal.
Instant Imaging of the Moon.
The Lunar Terminator.
Section III: The Greater Solar System.
A Quick Guide to the Solar System.
Planetary Imaging on a Time Budget.
Spectacles in Our Neighborhood.
The Far In and Far Out.
Section IV: Deep Space.
Viewing Deep Space Objects.
Deep Space Imaging.
Astronomy Via the Internet.
A Guide for Viewing Sessions.