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About this book
About this book
Written by an astronomer who is well known amongst the amateur and professional community for the skill and quality of his work, this book describes a wide range of research areas where amateurs are gathering new scientific data useful to professional astronomers. For each research area, the book provides a concise explanation of the purpose and value of the amateurs' observations, a description of the equipment that is needed, specific observing procedures, complete data reduction instructions, and an explanation of how to submit results to the professionals.
Until now there has been no text that points curious amateur astronomers to the research possibilities open to them. At the 2006 meeting of the Society for Astronomical Sciences, participants agreed that the lack of such a text was a serious gap in the astronomical book market, and that this gap is impeding their efforts to encourage more amateur astronomers to get involved in research collaborations. This book will fill that gap, and enable more amateur astronomers to add research-type studies to their pursuit of the hobby.
Meteor Studies. -Project A: Visual meteor counts of major meteor showers. -Project B: Characterization of minor meteor showers. -Project C: Characterizing Sporadic meteors, and discovering unrecognized showers. -Automating your Meteor Observations. -Radio Meteor Monitoring. -Additional Reading and Resources. -Occultations. -Project D: Lunar Occultation Timing. -Project E: Grazing Lunar Occultations. -Project F: Asteroid Occultation Timing. -International Occultation Timing Association. -Additional Reading and Resources. -Visual Observing. -Project G: Variable Star Observing. -AAVSO. -CCD Photometry. -General Principles of Aperture Photometry. -Selection of Comp Stars. -Software Packages for Photometry. -Absolute vs. Differential Photometry. -Project H: CCD Photometry of Variable Stars. -Project I: Determining Asteroid Lightcurves. -Signal, Noise, and Photometric Accuracy. -Project J: Extra-Solar Planet Transits. -Absolute Photometry on the B-V-R system. -Project K: Asteroid Phase Curves. -CCD Astrometry. -Basic Principles of Astrometry. -Equipment needed. -Making the Observations. -Reducing and Analyzing your Results. -Project L: Asteroid astrometry. -Project M: Binary Stars: Separation and Position Angle. -Discovery projects. -Project N: Lunar Meteor Impacts. -Project O: Asteroid Hunting and Discovery. -Project P: Comet Hunting. -Nova and Supernova Hunting. -Project Q: Nova Search. -Project R: Supernova Search. -Project S: Serendipitous discoveries. -Appendix A: Some Notes on Time. -Appendix B: Some Background on Astrometric Concepts. -Appendix C: The scientist's record book.
Mr. Buchheim received his first telescope when he was about 10 years old, and he has been interested in the stars ever since. He received his BS degree in Physics from Arizona State University and has completed a Program Management Course at Defense Systems Management College as well as UCLA Executive Program 88-1. He has published a number of articles and is the inventor of the "Rotary-Acting Pilot Valve." He currently lives and works in California.
325 pages, 65 illus
From the reviews: "Amateur astronomers have a proud tradition of contributing worthwhile scientific observations, stretching right back to Victorian times. ! If you have been in the hobby for a few years and now want to specialise, this book is for you. The author explains every chosen subject in reasonable depth and a lot of technical work has gone into the 297 pages. The coverage is accurate ! ." (Martin Mobberley, BBC Sky at Night, November, 2007) "Buchheim gives amateurs the essentials to do real science, not simply science projects. ! The book is amply illustrated with diagrams, and the text's tone is pleasantly conversational. ! Although Buchheim set out to write this book for amateurs, it should also be of interest to students and teachers who wish to pursue real-science with equipment that may already be available on campus." (Jennifer Birriel, Sky & Telescope, December, 2007) "Many amateur astronomers have equipment powerful enough to make significant contributions to research. ! The present book outlines eighteen worthwhile projects for the amateur. ! There is a clear and detailed description of the principles behind the evaluation of signal-to-noise and warnings against the many insidious errors which can creep in. ! The book's outstanding quality is the infectious enthusiasm of the writing. It is highly recommended." (Derek Jones, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)