“Telescopes and Techniques” has proved itself in its first edition, having become probably one of the most widely used astronomy texts, both for numerate amateur astronomers and for astronomy and astrophysics undergraduates. The first and second editions of the book were widely used as set texts for introductory practical astronomy courses in many universities.

This book guides the reader through the mathematics, physics and practical techniques needed to use telescopes (from small amateur models to the larger instruments installed in many colleges) and to observe objects in the sky. Mathematics to around Advanced Placement standard (US) or A level (UK) is assumed, although High School Diploma (US) or GCSE-level (UK) mathematics plus some basic trigonometry will suffice most of the time. Most of the physics and engineering involved is described fully and requires no prior knowledge or experience.

This is a ‘how to’ book that provides the knowledge and background required to understand how and why telescopes work. Equipped with the techniques discussed in this book, the observer will be able to operate with confidence his or her telescope and to optimize its performance for a particular purpose. In principle the observer could calculate his or her own predictions of planetary positions (ephemerides), but more realistically the observer will be able to understand the published data lists properly instead of just treating them as ‘recipes.’ When the observer has obtained measurements, he/she will be able to analyze them in a scientific manner and to understand the significance and meaning of the results.

“Telescopes and Techniques, 3rd Edition” fills a niche at the start of an undergraduate astronomer’s university studies, as shown by it having been widely adopted as a set textbook. This third edition is now needed to update its material with the many new observing developments and study areas that have come into prominence since it was published. The book concentrates on the knowledge needed to understand how small(ish) optical telescopes function, their main designs and how to set them up, plus introducing the reader to the many ways in which objects in the sky change their positions and how they may be observed. Both visual and electronic imaging techniques are covered, together with an introduction to how data (measurements) should be processed and analyzed. A simple introduction to radio telescopes is also included. Brief coverage of the most advanced topics of photometry and spectroscopy are included, but mainly to enable the reader to see some of the developments possible from the basic observing techniques covered in the main parts of the book.
Astronomers' Universe Series

The aim of this book is to provide an up-to-date account of active galaxies that is appropriate to the background knowledge of amateur astronomers, but might also be picked-up and read for interest by any reader with a scientific bent.

Active galaxies (including Quasars, QSOs, Radio galaxies, BL Lacs, Blazars, LINERS, ULIRGS, Seyfert galaxies, Starburst galaxies, N galaxies, etc.) are a major field of current astronomical research. Up to a fifth of all research astronomers are working on active galaxies. Huge amounts of time on major telescopes are devoted to their study. In almost all cases the galaxies are thought to be powered by 100 million solar mass black holes at their centres.

Some of the objects are bright enough to be seen in small telescopes, and an amateur astronomer with a 20 cm telescope and a CCD detector could obtain images of many more. Lists of such objects, and their visual and imaged appearance in commercially available telescopes are an important component of this book. This detailed but accessible work will be the only coherent and complete source of information for non-technical readers on an area of astronomy that fascinates many people and whose spectacular images from the Hubble space telescope, Gemini, VLT and other major telescopes frequently make the pages of the quality newspapers and occasionally appear on TV.

It also has the potential to be chosen as a set text or background reading for university courses on the subject, althought he writing style is such that it will appeal to all readers.

The purpose of this book is two-fold. Firstly to provide a handy quick source of ref erence of the terms, techniques, instruments, formulas, processes, etc. , for practising observers, whether it is their first look through someone else's small telescope, or whether they have spent decades building their own instruments, observing with them and are regularly producing results to rival those of the professionals. It is not principally aimed at professional observers, but in order to be sufficiently compre hensive for its intended audience, many entries have been included which will be relevant at that level. In particular though, the more esoteric parts of spectroscopy have not been included. References to specific observatories are included if their instrumentation includes optical telescopes over 1 m in diameter or radio dishes over 20 m. Individual entries for telescopes of 4 m or over are included, and for the larger radio instruments, plus other telescopes that may be of interest for historical or other reasons (for example the 1m Yerkes refractor). Spacecraft have generally not been included (apart from the Hubble space telescope) because their short working lives mean that most current spacecraft will no longer be operating by the time that this book is published. Also the names of spacecraft are frequently changed after launch making it difficult to identify which mission is which. References to commercial organisations, and to some widely available commercial products have been includ ed, but an intending purchaser should always obtain up-to-date information.
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