Double stars are the rule, rather than the exception: our solar system, having a single sun, is in the minority. Orbiting satellites, ground-based observatories and interferometers have all helped discover many hundreds of new pairs - but this has left enormous numbers of wide, faint pairs under-observed or not observed at all. This is where amateur astronomers can help. Bob Argyle, a professional astronomer at Cambridge University, shows where enthusiastic amateur observers can best direct their efforts. The book caters for the use of every level of equipment, from simple commercial telescopes to micrometers and CCD cameras. Amateur astronomers who have gone beyond 'sight-seeing' and want to make a genuine scientific contribution will find this a fascinating and rewarding field - and this book provides all the background and practical information that's needed.
Introduction More Than One Sun (Bob Argyle) Why Observe Double Stars? (Bob Argyle) The Observation of Binocular Double Stars (Mike Ropelewski) The Scale of Binary Systems (Bob Argyle) Multiple Stars and Planets (Bob Argyle) Is the Sun a Double Star? (Bob Argyle) The Orbital Elements of a Visual Binary Star (Andreas Alzner) Orbit Computation (Andreas Alzner) Some Famous Double Stars (Bob Argyle) The Resolution of a Telescope (Bob Argyle) Reflecting Telescopes and Double Star Astronomy (Christopher Taylor) Simple Techniques of Measurement (Tom Teague) The Double-Image Micrometer (Andreas Alzner) The Diffraction Grating Micrometer (Andreas Maurer) The Filar Micrometer (Bob Argyle) The CCD Camera (Doug West) Speckle Interferometry for the Amateur (Nils Turner) Lunar Occultations (Graham Appleby) What the Amateur can Contribute (Bob Argyle) Some Active Amateur Double Star Observers (Bob Argyle) An Observing Session (Bob Argyle) Some Useful Formulae (Michael Greaney) Star Atlases and Software (Owen Brazell) Catalogues (Bob Argyle) Publication of Results (Bob Argyle) Appendix: Some Useful URL Addresses Brief Biographies Index
From the reviews: "I recommend it to anyone with an interest in binary stars who wants to learn more about these fascinating objects." (Jocelyn Tomkin, The Observatory, April 2005) "Bob Argyle, who is editor of the book ! is a keen double-star observer and an engaging feature is the way his enthusiasm for his subject animates the text. ! an excellent book ! . I recommend it to anyone with an interest in binary stars who wants to learn more about these fascinating objects." (Jocelyn Tomkin, The Observatory, Vol. 125 (1185), 2005) "This book, which is aimed at amateur astronomers and the general reader, gives an account of the current state of play in the observation and measurement of visual double stars. With 25 chapters, each devoted to a different aspect of visual binaries, the book covers the waterfront. ! A chapter about amateur double-star observers ! gives the human touch. ! Read this book. You will enjoy it." (David W. Hughes, The Observatory, Vol. 125 (1185), 2005) "In this high quality book, some of the world's most seasoned amateur astronomers describe the techniques they use to measure scientifically useful double stars within reach of backyard 'scopes. ! there are also projects that will engage even the beginning observer armed with a small telescope. The text also includes a CD ROM ! for those who wish to dig deeper. All in all, this is a laudable book and is a 'must buy' if you intend observing visual binary star systems." (Nell English, Astronomy Now, February, 2005) "Bob Argyle and his team are to be congratulated for producing this excellent book. ! The contributors explain concepts well, and the mathematics ! . I found the chapters easy to read ! . The text is well referenced, like a scientific journal article. ! Readers will learn about the ring micrometer, the chronometric ! . Besides a wealth of printed information, the book also comes with a CD-ROM ! . There is much useful information that can be obtained ! this book is a wonderful resource." (Richard Jaworski, Sky & Telescope, January, 2005) "Bob Argyle ! and his collaborators have risen to the formidable challenge of covering the whole topic of observing visual double stars with characteristic energy and enthusiasm. ! technical papers on measuring techniques and devices are of a uniformly high standard. ! The inclusion of clearly identified advantages and disadvantages ! is particularly useful. ! There is something in this book for everyone from the complete novice to the experienced ! I have no hesitation in recommending it to members." (Martin Nicholson, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 114 (3), 2004) "Argyle ! has brought his love of double stars to life in this well-developed book. ! A wide variety of observing techniques are covered, and much of the information will be helpful to the users of small telescopes ! . Covering topics from classic instrumentation, like filar micrometers ! the book is comprehensive. ! To make the book more useful, the enclosed CD-ROM provides an array of resources ! . The illustrations are excellent. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates ! professionals." (M.-K. Hemenway, CHOICE, July, 2004)