Recent ground- and space-based observations have changed much in our understanding of comets. Comets, and How to Observe Them gives a summary of our current knowledge and describes how amateur astronomers can contribute to the body of scientific knowledge of comets. This book contains many practical examples of how to construct comet light-curves, measure how fast a comet’s coma expands, and determine the rotation period of the nucleus. All these examples are illustrated with drawings and photographs.
Because of their unpredictable nature comets are always interesting and sometime spectacular objects to observe and image. The second part of the book therefore takes the reader through the key observing techniques that can be used with commercially available modern observing equipment, from basic observations to more scientific measurements.
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.
While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
The Remote Planets, and How to Observe them is unique in that it gives a completely up-to-date summary of our current knowledge of the remote planets, and also explains how amateur astronomers can contribute to our knowledge of the remote planets. Readers are given some inspiring examples of people who, with modest commercially-made equipment, have made important contributions to our scientific knowledge.
The observational section goes into great detail, including optical and CCD photometry, occultation measurements, imaging (including stacking and enhancement techniques) and polarization measurements.
There are finder charts (from 2010 to 2026), complete with two sets of star-magnitudes in an appendix (one set of magnitudes are for photoelectric photometry and the other set is for visual photometry)
A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?
Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
“Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?”
One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end.
Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.
13.7 billion years old. 93 billion light-years across. It contains over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. This infinite, vast and complex Universe has been the subject of human fascination and scientific exploration for thousands of years. The wonders of the Universe might seem alien to us and impossible to understand, but away from the telescopes, the labs and the white coats, Professor Brian Cox uses the evidence found in the natural world on Earth to brilliantly explain the truth of the cosmos.
Professor Cox will show how the vast and unfathomable phenomena of deep space can be explained, and even experienced, by re-examining the familiar here on Earth. He is determined to answer the most profound questions we can ask about ourselves and the world in which we live, but in a uniquely understandable way. The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied in the Universe. Using his expert knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm, Professor Cox shows us that if we can understand the impact of these governing laws on Earth it will bring us a step closer to an understanding of our Universe.
In Wonders of the Solar System – the book of the acclaimed BBC TV series – Professor Brian Cox will take us on a journey of discovery where alien worlds from your imagination become places we can see, feel and visit.
The Wonders of the Solar System – from the giant ice fountains of Enceladus to the liquid methane seas of Titan and from storms twice the size of the Earth to the tortured moon of Io with its giant super-volcanoes – is the Solar System as you have never seen it before.
In this series, Professor Brian Cox will introduce us to the planets and moons beyond our world, finding the biggest, most bizarre, most powerful natural phenomena. Using the latest scientific imagery along with cutting edge CGI and some of the most spectacular and extreme locations on Earth, Brian will show us Wonders never thought possible.
Employing his trademark clear, authoritative, yet down-to-earth approach, Brian will explore how these previously unseen phenomena have dramatically expanded our horizons with new discoveries about the planets, their moons and how
they came to be the way they are.
Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights—many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar—describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.
Interstellar and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14).
From the Paperback edition.
Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest iteration, M-theory, which posits that our universe may be just one in an endless multiverse, a singular bubble floating in a sea of infinite bubble universes. If M-theory is proven correct, we may perhaps finally find answer to the question, “What happened before the big bang?” This is an exciting and unforgettable introduction into the new cutting-edge theories of physics and cosmology from one of the pre-eminent voices in the field.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
--The Washington Post Book World (front page review)
In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.
Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.
"TAKES READERS FAR BEYOND Cosmos . . . Sagan sees humanity's future in the stars."
In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the German armed forces, looking to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. One of the key figures in this period was Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun escaped from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Meanwhile, the US Air Force was looking ahead to a time when men would fly in space, and test pilots like Neil Armstrong were flying cutting-edge, rocket-powered aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere.
Breaking the Chains of Gravity tells the story of America's nascent space program, its scientific advances, its personalities and the rivalries it caused between the various arms of the US military. At this point getting a man in space became a national imperative, leading to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.
America’s space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program, cutting off its access to space. No astronauts will be launched in an American craft, from American soil, until the 2020s, and NASA may soon find itself eclipsed by other countries’ space programs.
With his signature wit and thought-provoking insights, Neil deGrasse Tyson—one of our foremost thinkers on all things space—illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever. As Tyson reveals, exploring the space frontier can profoundly enrich many aspects of our daily lives, from education systems and the economy to national security and morale. For America to maintain its status as a global leader and a technological innovator, he explains, we must regain our enthusiasm and curiosity about what lies beyond our world.
Provocative, humorous, and wonderfully readable, Space Chronicles represents the best of Tyson’s recent commentary, including a must-read prologue on NASA and partisan politics. Reflecting on topics that range from scientific literacy to space-travel missteps, Tyson gives us an urgent, clear-eyed, and ultimately inspiring vision for the future.
There's no better short book that explains just what Einstein did than Einstein's Cosmos. Keying Einstein's crucial discoveries to the simple mental images that inspired them, Michio Kaku finds a revealing new way to discuss his ideas, and delivers an appealing and always accessible introduction to Einstein's work.
Humans might luxuriate in the idea of being “in” nature, Ackerman points out, but we often forget that we are nature—for “no facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.” Joining science’s devotion to detail with religion’s appreciation of the sublime, Dawn Light is an impassioned celebration of the miracles of evolution—especially human consciousness of our numbered days on a turning earth.
A brilliantly starry night is one of nature's most thrilling wonders. Yet in our world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won't ever live where they can see the Milky Way. And exposure to artificial light at night has been cited as a factor in health concerns ranging from poor sleep to cancer.
In his gorgeous debut, THE END OF NIGHT, Paul Bogard travels the globe to find the night, blending personal narrative, natural history, health, science, and folklore to shed light on darkness. Showing exactly what we've lost, what we have left, and what we might hope to regain, he attempts nothing less than a restoration of how we see the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky.
Written in easy-to-understand language (and with a glossary for those few terms you may not be familiar with), this is the must-have reference for this unique occurrence. It’s not a stretch to say that this eclipse will prove to be the most viewed sky event in history. That’s why even now, more than a year before the eclipse, astronomy clubs, government agencies, cities — even whole states — are preparing for the unprecedented onslaught of visitors whose only desire is to experience darkness at midday. Bakich informs observers what anyone will need to observe, enjoy, and understand this event.
First, there is a brief overview of the history and development of the spectroscope. This is followed by a short introduction to the theory of stellar spectra. The final parts of this section provide details of the necessary reference spectra required for instrument testing and spectral comparison. It concludes with a chapter covering the various types of spectroscopes available to the amateur.
Next, there is a series of "How to..." sections. These cover all aspects of setting up and using various types of commercially available and home-built spectroscopes. Transmission gratings are covered first, and then more complex models, all the way to the sophisticated Littrow design.
The final part of Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is about practical spectroscope design and construction. It contains a collection of detailed instructions covering the design and building of three different types of spectroscope, along with the necessary design theory (with minimal math). Developing an instrument in simple steps from the basic grating spectroscope, using standard "off the shelf" adaptors, the author describes how to build spectroscopes equal in performance to the better commercial units, constructed using basic hand tools for a fraction of the cost!
This is the only up-to-date practical spectroscopy book available to amateurs. For the first time, it also brings together an invaluable user knowledge base – a collection of observing, analyzing, and processing hints and tips that will allow the amateur to build up and develop important skills in preparing scientifically acceptable spectral data, which can make a valuable contribution to ProAm (professional/amateur) projects. It covers in detail all aspects of the design, construction techniques, testing, calibrating, and using a spectroscope – enough detail to enable the average amateur astronomer to successfully build and use his own spectroscope for a fraction of the current commercial cost.
This book is an ideal complement to Robinson’s Spectroscopy: the Key to the Stars (Springer 2007) and Martin’s Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars (Springer, due 2009). Together, the three books form a complete package for all amateur astronomers who are interested in practical spectroscopy.
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 receives scant attention in astronomical texts." Olivier Thizy (of Shelyak Instruments, the builder of the LiHiResIII commercial spectroscope) writes on an Internet forum; "What is missing is tutorial books and "how to" books with amateur equipment? I believe spectroscopy is in general moving from builders to users (as CCD cameras did in the 1990's)... ...literature is following but slowly."
This is the practical spectroscopy book that amateur astronomers have been waiting for!
In the first three chapters the authors briefly review the great explosions that will form the subject matter of the book--namely, supernovae and gamma-ray bursters. They describe the very early universe, after the Big Bang, and then how "the lights came on all over the universe as the very first stars began to shine." The importance of stellar mass in governing not only the lifetime of a star (the most massive stars live relatively short lives) but also the way in which a star ends its days is also explained.
Chapter 4 describes the explosion of certain massive stars, outlining the various stages at the end of these stars' lives, which result in the cataclysmic explosions known as supernovae. In Chapter 5 the authors introduce the more exotic and spectacular forms of stellar explosion known as gamma-ray bursters. Chapter 6 studies the markers used for cosmic surveys and Hubble's contributions to the field. The penultimate chapter looks at the very distant, highly luminous sources known as quasars and the evolution of our universe from the earliest times. The final chapter shows how observations of distant supernovae have revealed that the expansion of the universe is in fact accelerating--one of the most exciting and remarkable discoveries in recent years. It was this discovery that lead to the idea that 70% of the universe is made up of mysterious dark energy.
Until around ten years ago, the only planets that we knew about were within the Solar System. The first genuine planet beyond the confines of the Solar System was discovered only 1988. Since then another 350 or so exoplanets have been detected by various methods, and most of these haven been found in the last ten years. Although many more exoplanets discoveries may be expected to occur even as this book is being read, a large enough data set is now available to form the basis for an informed general account of exoplanets.
The topic hence is an extremely "hot" one - all the more so because the recently launched Kepler spacecraft should soon start uncovering many more exoplanets, some perhaps comparable with the Earth (and therefore possibly alternative homes for mankind, if we could ever reach them). Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Life gives a comprehensive, balances, and above all accurate account of exoplanets.
Despite this immense fame, almost nothing is known about Gagarin or the exceptional people behind his dramatic space flight. Starman tells for the first time Gagarin's personal odyssey from peasant to international icon, his subsequent decline as his personal life began to disintegrate under the pressures of fame, and his final disillusionment with the Russian state. President Kennedy's quest to put an American on the Moon was a direct reaction to Gagarin's achievement--yet before that successful moonshot occurred, Gagarin himself was dead, aged just thirty-four, killed in a mysterious air crash. Publicly the Soviet hierarchy mourned; privately their sighs of relief were almost audible, and the KGB report into his death remains secret.
Entwined with Gagarin's history is that of the breathtaking and highly secretive Russian space program - its technological daring, its triumphs and disasters. In a gripping account, Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony reveal the astonishing world behind the scenes of the first great space spectacular, and how Gagarin's flight came frighteningly close to destruction.
The fifth edition of this successful undergraduate textbook has been extensively modernized and extended in the parts dealing with the Milky Way, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology as well as with extrasolar planets and the solar system (as a consequence of recent results from satellite missions and the new definition by the International Astronomical Union of planets, dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies). Furthermore a new chapter on astrobiology has been added.
Long considered a standard text for physical science majors, Fundamental Astronomy is also an excellent reference and entrée for dedicated amateur astronomers.
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 that is utilized by 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, and where, to submit results so that they will be available to the professional users.
Designed as a comprehensive introduction for the beginner and those who want to find out more, How to Identify the Night Sky covers everything that can be seen with the naked eye and binoculars, as well as what is visible using a small telescope.
There are sections on how to observe and understand the objects that comprise the night sky, the moon, the movements of the stars and planets throughout the year and astronomical events.
The constellations are given a comprehensive treatment. For each one there is a chart, a photograph, a description of its features and history, the best dates and times of visibility, the mythological representation and a list of interesting objects.
In addition to a history of the science behind the pursuit, directions are included for four easy-to-build projects, based around long-term NASA and Stanford Solar Center projects. The first three projects constitute self-contained units available as kits, so there is no need to hunt around for parts. The fourth – more advanced – project encourages readers to do their own research and track down items.
Getting Started in Radio Astronomy provides an overall introduction to listening in on the radio spectrum. With details of equipment that really works, a list of suppliers, lists of online help forums, and written by someone who has actually built and operated the tools described, this book contains everything the newcomer to radio astronomy needs to get going.
The Mythology of the Night Sky is intended primarily for amateur astronomers who would like to know the mythology behind the names of constellations and planets. It deals with the 48 constellations identified by the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy, as well as all the planets of our solar system and their moons, which are named after Roman gods.
To assist practical observers the book is organized by season, and gives the location and description of each constellation, including named stars and deep-sky objects. Readers are encouraged to observe and image the constellations for themselves, and there is a lot of practical information in this book to help them along the way.
Each Greek mythological story is told in its entirety. Often this shows how several constellations are related, giving the reader a greater appreciation of why the character, animal, or object was awarded the honor of a place in the night sky.
In addition to providing a detailed (and mostly Greek) mythology of the constellations and the vast soap opera that was part of the ancient Greek pantheon, The Mythology of the Night Sky also covers the planets of our solar system, which are named after Roman - not Greek - gods. The significance to the Romans for the names of the planets is explained, as well as how the named moons orbiting the planets (many of them named relatively recently) related to their parent planet's name. Later discoveries such as Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and their moons have been added in recent times.
The Mythology of the Night Sky strikes a unique balance between "backyard astronomy" and mythology. It describes each constellation and its observation and imaging, but unlike most astronomy books it also tells the mythological tales in full. Not only will readers appreciate the importance of the mythological characters, and why they were immortalized in the stars, but they will also see how many times several constellations are part of the same story and that even their location in the night sky was significant to the ancients.
Probably the most exciting tether concept is the space elevator, consisting of an incredibly strong long cable that stretches from the Earth’s surface into space. Solar powered "climber" machines, which are already under development, could use such a cable to haul cargo into orbit. The author also describes how space tethers can change the orbit of satellites, by effectively moving their center of gravity through the deployment of long cables. Tethers rotating at high speed can be used to accelerate or slow down spacecraft that briefly latch to them. In principle, such "momentum exchange" tethers can be used to fly a space probe from low Earth orbit all the way into orbit around Mars, without the need for rocket propulsion. A tether can also provide scientific information on the magnetosphere of the planet it’s orbiting.
Michel van Pelt explains the principle of space tethers: what they are and how they can be used in space. He introduces non-technical space enthusiasts to the various possibilities of space tethers, the technological challenges, the potential benefits and their feasibility. He illustrates how, because of their inherent simplicity, space tethers have the potential to make space travel much cheaper, while ongoing advances in tether material technology may make even seemingly far-fetched ideas a reality in the not too distant future.
Along with webcam technology has come simple-to-use image processing and enhancement using a PC: the most powerful technique is, 'stacking' in which the best images (out of hundreds) are selected and summed automatically to provide startlingly good results.
"Lunar and Planetary Webcam User’s Guide" de-mystifies the jargon of webcams and computer processing, and provides detailed hints and tips for imaging the Sun, Moon and planets with a webcam. He looks at each observing target separately, describing and explaining all specialised techniques in context.
Glance through the images in this book to see just how much you can – easily – achieve by using a webcam with your telescope!
There may now be a way to achieve these lofty objectives. “Making Starships and Stargates” will have three parts. The first will deal with information about the theories of relativity needed to understand the predictions of the effects that make possible the “propulsion” techniques, and an explanation of those techniques. The second will deal with experimental investigations into the feasibility of the predicted effects; that is, do the effects exist and can they be applied to propulsion? The third part of the book – the most speculative – will examine the question: what physics is needed if we are to make wormholes and warp drives? Is such physics plausible? And how might we go about actually building such devices? This book pulls all of that material together from various sources, updates and revises it, and presents it in a coherent form so that those interested will be able to find everything of relevance all in one place.
The era of the Apollo/Saturn missions was perhaps the most exciting period in American space exploration history. Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center were buzzing with activity. Thousands of workers came to town to build the facilities and launch the missions needed to put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade.
Work at KSC involved much more than just launching rockets. It was a place like none other on Earth. Technicians performed intricate operations, and hazards abounded everywhere, including lightning, fire, highly-toxic fuels, snakes, heat, explosives, LOX spills, and even plutonium. The reward for months of 7-day workweeks under intense pressure was witnessing a Saturn V at liftoff.
For anyone who ever wished they had worked at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era, this book is the next best thing. The only thing missing is the smell of rocket fuel in the morning.
This is not a book that dwells on the technology of CCD, Webcam, wet, or other types of astrophotography. Neither is it a book about in-depth computer processing of the images (although this topic is included). Detailed discussions of these topics can be found in other publications. This book focuses on what northern latitude objects to image at any given time of the year to get the most spectacular results.
This is a new, fresh series of Nature Guides with all-new content. With a clean, modern design, these books are perfect for the beginner naturalist and family reference.
From trees to rocks and minerals, and birds to stars and planets, each volume provides a thorough introduction and detailed, clearly illustrated profiles of hundreds of examples from within that subject area. Each book is packed with stunning photography, and key information is provided by expert contributors. The books are carefully structured, with catalog entries organized into easily understood groups that the newcomer will have no difficulty in navigating and the more experienced reader will appreciate. Each profile centers on a high-impact commissioned image of the subject, allowing instant identification, and is accompanied by concise, authoritative text. Additional images provide context, while a data panel summarizes key facts about each example.
Each title opens with an introductory section that explains each subject in detail. This is followed by a comprehensive illustrated catalog. A glossary of key terms and a detailed index complete each volume.
About the Imprimatur: The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world and a research center for research dedicated to public education and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history.
Full-color maps show the constellations, with star types (spectral and physical) indicated by the colors used on the map. Extended objects such as galaxies and nebulae are shown with the approximate apparent size in the sky. With unmatched thoroughness and accessibility, this is a constellation atlas that makes the ideal companion to a night's telescope viewing, for novices and expert amateur astronomers alike. Easy to navigate and refer to, it is the key that unlocks the door to greater night sky exploration.
In order to reach the nearest stars, we must first develop a propulsion technology that would take our robotic probes there in a reasonable time. Such propulsion technology has radically different requirements from conventional chemical rockets, because of the enormous distances that must be crossed. Surprisingly, many propulsion schemes for interstellar travel have been suggested and await only practical engineering solutions and the political will to make them a reality. This is a result of the tremendous advances in astrophysics that have been made in recent decades and the perseverance and imagination of tenacious theoretical physicists. This book explores these different propulsion schemes – all based on current physics – and the challenges they present to physicists, engineers, and space exploration entrepreneurs.
This book will be helpful to anyone who really wants to understand the principles behind and likely future course of interstellar travel and who wants to recognizes the distinctions between pure fantasy (such as Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’) and methods that are grounded in real physics and offer practical technological solutions for exploring the stars in the decades to come.
Our molecular guide makes its first appearance at the source of the Chemical Cosmos, at a time when only three elements and a total of 11 molecules existed. From those simple beginnings, H-three-plus guides us down river on the violent currents of exploding stars, through the streams of the Interstellar Medium, and into the delta where new stars and planets form. We are finally left on the shores of the sea of life. Along the way, we meet the key characters who have shaped our understanding of the chemistry of the universe, such as Cambridge physicist J.J. Thomson and the Chicago chemist Takeshi Oka. And we are given an insider’s view of just how astronomers, making use of telescopes and Earth-orbiting satellites, have put together our modern view of the Chemical Cosmos.
The book is written for amateur astronomers interested in budget astrophotography – the deep sky, not just the Moon and planets – and for those who want to improve their imaging skills using DSLR and webcams. It is even possible to use existing (non-specialist astronomical) equipment for scientific applications such as high resolution planetary and lunar photography, astrometry, photometry, and spectroscopy.
The introduction of the CCD revolutionized astrophotography. The availability of this technology to the amateur astronomy community has allowed advanced science and imaging techniques to become available to almost anyone willing to take the time to learn a few, simple techniques. Specialized cooled-chip CCD imagers are capable of superb results in the right hands – but they are all very expensive. If budget is important, the reader is advised on using a standard camera instead.
Jensen provides techniques useful in acquiring beautiful high-quality images and high level scientific data in one accessible and easy-to-read book. It introduces techniques that will allow the reader to use more economical DSLR cameras – that are of course also used for day-to-day photography – to produce images and data of high quality, without a large cash investment.
In this second, significantly revised and expanded edition of his widely popular book, Webb discusses in detail the (for now!) 75 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox: If the numbers strongly point to the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, why have we found no evidence of them?
Reviews from the first edition:
"Amidst the plethora of books that treat the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, this one by Webb ... is outstanding. ... Each solution is presented in a very logical, interesting, thorough manner with accompanying explanations and notes that the intelligent layperson can understand. Webb digs into the issues ... by considering a very broad set of in-depth solutions that he addresses through an interesting and challenging mode of presentation that stretches the mind. ... An excellent book for anyone who has ever asked ‘Are we alone?’." (W. E. Howard III, Choice, March, 2003)
"Fifty ideas are presented ... that reveal a clearly reasoned examination of what is known as ‘The Fermi Paradox’. ... For anyone who enjoys a good detective story, or using their thinking faculties and stretching the imagination to the limits ... ‘Where is everybody’ will be enormously informative and entertaining. ... Read this book, and whatever your views are about life elsewhere in the Universe, your appreciation for how special life is here on Earth will be enhanced! A worthy addition to any personal library." (Philip Bridle, BBC Radio, March, 2003)
Since gaining a BSc in physics from the University of Bristol and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester, Stephen Webb has worked in a variety of universities in the UK. He is a regular contributor to the Yearbook of Astronomy series and has published an undergraduate textbook on distance determination in astronomy and cosmology as well as several popular science books. His interest in the Fermi paradox combines lifelong interests in both science and science fiction.
The author describes the structures and systems of the Space Shuttle, and then follows a typical mission, explaining how the structures and systems were used in the launch, orbital operations and the return to Earth. Details of how anomalous events were dealt with on individual missions are also provided, as are the recollections of those who built and flew the Shuttle. Many photographs and technical drawings illustrate how the Space Shuttle functions, avoiding the use of complicated technical jargon.
The book is divided into two sections: Part 1 describes each subsystem in a technical style, supported by diagrams, technical drawings, and photographs to enable a better understanding of the concepts. Part 2 examines different flight phases, from liftoff to landing. Technical material has been obtained from NASA as well as from other forums and specialists.
Author Davide Sivolella is an aerospace engineer with a life-long interest in space and is ideally qualified to interpret technical manuals for a wider audience. This book provides comprehensive coverage of the topic including the evolution of given subsystems, reviewing the different configurations, and focusing on the solutions implemented.
The first volume of this series will focus upon the 1960s, exploring each mission from April 1961 to April 1971 in depth: from the pioneering Vostok flights to the establishment of the first Salyut space station and from Alan Shepard’s modest sub-orbital ‘hop’ into space to his triumphant arrival at the Moon’s Fra Mauro foothills almost a decade later.
The Introduction sets the scene with early plans to explore space, balloon flights and such details as the development of pressure suits. Each of the Vostok missions is then covered in depth, together with unmanned precursor flights, subsequent plans and the development of Voskhod. Chapter 2 studies the Mercury missions together with unmanned and monkey flights, the development of the Redstone and Atlas boosters and the ill-fated Dyna-Soar, while the twin Voskhod missions, including the first three-man space crew, first spacewalk and plans for subsequent Voskhods to extend time in space are covered in the third chapter. Each of the Gemini missions are
then described, as well as why and how the United States managed to achieve such a ‘lead’ over the Soviet Union, practising techniques for lunar landings, the development of spacesuit technology for extravehicular activities, ‘Blue Gemini’ and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. The Soyuz 1 and Apollo 1 tragedies and aftermath, including redesign, changes to future plans and the effect of Korolev’s death precede a chapter on the United States’ drive for the Moon, up to Apollo 14, including the challenges facing the first lunar explorers, the consistency of lunar soil and the development of spacesuits to handle locomotion. This first volume ends with an analysis of Soviet direction changes from lunar exploration to long-term space stations (Soyuz 3 to 10 and the development of Salyut 1) and the progress of the human space program in the 1960s and plans for space exploration in the next decade.
Each of the next four volumes will follow at yearly intervals, the final one coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s epic journey:
Amateur astronomers are always contemplating the "next telescope up" and this will point the way to the most suitable instrument to which they should aspire. Similarly, those who are buying their first telescope – and these days not necessarily a low-cost one – will be able to compare and contrast different types and makes.
Jim Mullaney is an astronomy writer, lecturer and consultant who has published more than 500 articles and five books: he has also been an editor for Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, and Star & Sky magazines. One of the contributors to Carl Sagan’s award-winning Cosmos PBS-Television series, his work has received recognition from such notables as Sir Arthur Clarke, Johnny Carson, Ray Bradbury, Dr. Wernher von Braun, and one of his former students – NASA scientist/astronaut Dr. Jay Apt. He is probably the ideal person to write this book, containing as it does a directory of instruments offered by all the major manufacturers.
This exciting, upbeat new guide provides an extensive overview of binoculars and telescopes. It includes detailed up-to-date information on sources, selection and use of virtually every major type, brand and model of such instruments on today’s market – truly an invaluable treasure-trove of information and helpful advice for all amateur astronomers. Also includes details on the the latest released telescope lines, e.g., the 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-inch aperture models of the Meade LX-R series.
Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? And why have they captured the imagination of timeless artists, Romantic poets, and every kid who's ever held a crayon? Veteran journalist and lifelong sky watcher Gavin Pretor-Pinney reveals everything there is to know about clouds, from history and science to art and pop culture. Cumulus, nimbostratus, and the dramatic and surfable Morning Glory cloud are just a few of the varieties explored in this smart, witty, and eclectic tour through the skies.
Illustrated with striking photographs (including a new section in full-color) and line drawings featuring everything from classical paintings to lava lamps, The Cloudspotter's Guide will have enthusiasts, weather watchers, and the just plain curious floating on cloud nine.
Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars. In a new afterword, Bennett shares the most recent developments in extrasolar research, and discusses how they might further our quest to find alien life.
Until China successfully launched taikonauts into orbit, China’s space program had attracted little international attention. The book opens with an analysis of the short fifteen-year history of the China National Space Administration and its long list of accomplishments. Chapter 2 assesses Sino-U.S. technological and commercial interests in space and their implications in fuelling a potential space race. The national security objectives of the U.S. and China are examined, showing how their intentions are increasingly leading to the military integration of space technologies. Chapter 3 describes China’s anxieties about U.S. space power, its obsession with national prestige, and how manned spaceflight is viewed as a crucial element to sustain the legitimacy of the Communist Party. China is currently focusing on similar goals to those of NASA’s Constellation Program - lunar and Mars exploration. The following chapter examines the ambitious plans of both nations, and evaluates whether China’s bold goal of landing taikonauts on the Moon by 2020 is matched by the necessary capability.
In Chapter 5 Dr Seedhouse describes the space hardware being developed by the U.S. and China and the strides taken by China in its attempt to match the technological capability of the U.S. The following chapter provides an overview of China’s introductory manned spaceflights and shows how, despite a lack of experience, the Chinese may soon be in a position to challenge the U.S. in a race to the Moon. In Chapter 7, the author discusses how China’s manned space program can boost the country’s international prestige and also examines the notion of manned spaceflight as a risky way to boost national status and the potential implications of a disaster akin to Challenger and Columbia.
Chapter 8 addresses the questions of alliances and cooperation between NASA and ESA and China and Russia, or, alternatively, the U.S. and China pursuing their space ambitions alone. The implications of each way forward in the context of a looming competition in space are considered. Chapter 9 discusses the repercussions of a Chinese space program overtaking NASA and whether the U.S. has the political will to advance its own space program to prevent its position as sole space superpower being usurped. Given the mutual suspicions existing in both countries, it is perhaps inevitable that Washington and Beijing are on a collision course in space. The final chapter describes the implications of such a confrontation and discusses what, if anything, can be done to avert a new space race.
Under a Crimson Sun looks at the nature of red dwarf systems such as Gliese as potential homes for life.
Realistically, what are prospects for life on these distant worlds? Could life evolve and survive there? How do these planetary surfaces and geology evolve? How would life on a red dwarf planet differ from life on Earth? And what are the implications for finding further habitable worlds in our galaxy?
Stevenson provides readers with insight into the habitability of planets and how this changes as time progresses and the central star evolves. Explore with him in this engaging, fascinating book the possibilities for finding life, from bacteria to more complex and even intelligent organisms, on red dwarf system planets.
Orreries are found everywhere. They can be made of wood or metal, and are even available today as home-assembly kits and children’s toys. They appear in paintings, on computers, on the side of royal clocks, in stately home hallways, and of course, in museums all over the world. This book contains illustrations of orreries to give a guide as to what is and was available and where to see the best examples. It also contains information and references to help readers who want to make (or buy) their own orrery.
The story of the Boyles is not just relevant to a tiny corner of Ireland, but spans the world. “Orrery” highlights the process of discovery and humankind’s universal fascination with the heavens. Provides a fascinating example of the relationship between innovative thinking (invention) and precision engineering (execution).
Finder charts are provided for locating these sometimes-familiar stars. Data for each star includes labelled stellar spectra, a spectral profile with spectral lines identified. These are conveniently laid out on a single page, opposite tables of spectroscopic properties, and lines and wavelengths identified.
This is the first Spectral Atlas designed for amateur astronomers. It is equally relevant to college undergraduates, being intended to familiarize astronomers of any age and level of knowledge with labelled stellar spectra and their different properties. It contains much information about stars which is hard to find or inaccessible to most people.