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Two books in this series, Small Astronomical Observatories, have been widely read and used. This new book by David Arditti gives the full story – how to chooseatelescope,howtoconstructanobservatoryforit,andhowtomakethe bestofitwhencompleted. Astronomyisthebestofallhobbies;itcantakeupasmuchtimeasyoulike– or as little. In any case, you will make many friends, and give yourself endless enjoyment. Tobeaproper“astronomer”youneedanobservatory,andthisbook tells you how to set about making one. Follow David Arditti’s advice, and you willnotregretit. Here’stoclearskies! PatrickMoore ix Author’sPreface Books on amateur observatories are quite rare, and most, if not all of them, in the past, have taken the form of collections of articles on particular obser- tories authored by their builders. The two books on observatories in this series already published, Small Astronomical Observatories, and More Small Ast- nomical Observatories are of this type. While useful, a danger of this approach is that it leaves gaps, and can be inconsistent in style and coverage. Discussing it with John Watson, the UK astronomy editor for Springer, we considered that it might be time for a more systematic and logical approach to be taken to the subject. Discussing it with other practical astronomers, there was also a feeling that the coverage of the subject in print had not kept pace with the technical developments that have transformed amateur astronomy, at least for some, in the last couple of decades, and that the examples in print now seemed rather old-fashioned. This book is the result of these considerations.
With a lively yet rigorous and quantitative approach, Frederick R. Chromey introduces the fundamental topics in optical observational astronomy for undergraduates. Focussing on the basic principles of light detection, telescope optics, coordinate systems and data analysis, students are introduced to modern astronomical observation techniques and measurements. Cutting-edge technologies such as advanced CCD detectors and adaptive optics are presented through the physical principles on which they are based, helping students understand the power of modern space and ground-based telescopes, and the motivations and limitations of future development. Discussion of statistics and measurement uncertainty enables students to confront the important questions of data quality. With a purposeful structure and clear approach, this is an essential resource for all students of observational astronomy. It explains the theoretical foundations for observational practices and reviews essential physics to support students' mastery of the subject. Student understanding is strengthened through over 120 exercises and problems.