Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs

Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs

Mixed media product Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy (Paperback)

By (author) Ken M. Harrison

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  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
  • Format: Mixed media product | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 18mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 12 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1441972382
  • ISBN 13: 9781441972385
  • Edition statement: 2011
  • Illustrations note: 158 black & white illustrations, 35 colour illustrations, biography
  • Sales rank: 305,071

Product description

Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is a complete guide for amateur astronomers who are looking for a new challenge. After a brief overview of the development of spectroscopes and an introduction to the theory of stellar spectra, the book goes on to examine the various types of spectroscopes available to amateurs. Next, practical sections address all aspects of setting-up and using various types of commercially-available and home-built spectroscopes. A final part gives detailed instructions for the design and construction of three different spectroscopes, along with the necessary design theory (minimal math). The home-made spectroscopes have performance capabilities near or equal to commercial units but are constructed using basic hand tools for a fraction of the cost! This up-to-date practical spectroscopy book will enable amateur astronomers to develop the skills and equipment needed to prepare scientifically acceptable spectra data, and to make a valuable contribution to ProAm projects.

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Author information

Ken Harrison was born in Scotland where he trained as a mechanical engineer. He has been designing and building telescopes since the early 1960's and has built a series of spectroscopes for use on medium sized amateur telescopes. He was Section Director of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia, Astrophotographic Section for ten years and past President of the Society. Harrison's university thesis (and his first publication) was Design and Construction of the Isaac Newton 98-inch Telescope (Strathclyde University, 1970). Since then he has published many articles on optical design, including "Blink Comparison" (BAA Journal Vol87, p94) and "Method of Radially Supporting Large Mirrors" (Vol87, p154). He has made contributions to the Astronomical Society of Victoria Newsletter and was for three years the Editor of the 'N'Daba' newsletter of the Natal Centre, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.

Back cover copy

Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is a complete guide for amateur astronomers who are looking for a new challenge beyond astrophotography. The book provides a brief overview of the history and development of the spectroscope, then a short introduction to the theory of stellar spectra, including details on the necessary reference spectra required for instrument testing and spectral comparison. The various types of spectroscopes available to the amateur are then described. Later sections cover all aspects of setting up and using various types of commercially available and home-built spectroscopes, starting with basic transmission gratings and going through more complex models, all the way to the sophisticated Littrow design. The final part of the text is about practical spectroscope design and construction. This book uniquely brings together a collection of observing, analyzing, and processing hints and tips that will allow the amateur to build skills in preparing scientifically acceptable spectra data. It covers all aspects of designing, constructing, testing, calibrating, and using a spectroscope and enables the average amateur astronomer to successfully build and use a homemade spectroscope for a fraction of the current commercial cost. As Professor Chris Kitchin said, If optical spectroscopy had not been invented then fully 75 percent of all astronomical knowledge would be unknown today, and yet the subject itself re-ceives scant attention in astronomical texts. This book answers that need. It is the practical spectroscopy book that amateur astronomers have been waiting for!

Table of contents

Preface.- Part I: Introduction to Spectroscopy.- Chapter 1: Early Experiments in Spectroscopy.- Chapter 2: A History of Astronomical Spectroscopy.- Chapter 3: Theory of Spectra.- Chapter 4: Prisms, Gratings, and Spectroscopes.- Chapter 5: Types of Spectroscopes.- Part II: Obtaining and Analyzing Specta.- Chapter 6: Setting Up the Spectroscope.- Chapter 7: Using Spectroscopes in the Converging Beam.- Chapter 8: Reflection Grating Spectroscopes.- Chapter 9: Cameras and CCD's.- Chapter 10: Processing Spectra.- Chapter 11: Amateur Spectroscope Projects.- Part III: Spectroscope Design and Construction.- Chapter 12: Design Basics.- Chapter 13: Prism Spectroscope Designs.- Chapter 14: Transmission Grating Spectroscope Designs.- Chapter 15: Reflection Grating Spectroscopes Designs.- Chapter 16: Guiding, OAG, and Beam Splitters/Flip Mirrors.- Appendix A: Suppliers of Spectroscopes and Accessories.- Appendix B: Useful Spectroscopy Forums and Other Websites.- Appendix C: Selected Bibliography.- Appendx D: Springer Extra Materials and Yahoo Support Group.- Index.