Using 21st century techniques, Charles Byrne – previously System Engineer of the Apollo Program for Lunar Orbiter Photography – has removed the artifacts and imperfections to produce the most comprehensive and beautifully detailed set of images of the lunar surface.
The book has been organized to make it easy for astronomers to use, enabling ground-based images and views to be compared with the Orbiter photographs. The photographs are striking for their consistent Sun angles (for uniform appearance). All features have been identified with their current IAU-approved names, and each photograph has been located in terms of latitude and longitude. To help practical astronomers, all the photographs are systematically related to an Earth-based view.
Charlie Byrne worked as a systems engineer at Bellcomm, for support of the Lunar Orbiter project. He is currently carrying out research about the Moon, and was the discoverer of the gigantic "near side megabasin" that covers nearly all of the near side of the Moon and whose ejecta has established the shape of the far side of the Moon.
The concept of the book - and of the series - is to present an up-to-date detailed description of the Moon, including its origins, history, and geology (part one); and then (part two) to consider how best to observe and record it successfully using commercially-available equipment.
The Moon and How to Observe It is a mine of information for all levels of amateur observers, from the beginner to the experienced
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!
The author’s own lunar photographs were taken with a 6-inch (150mm) telescope and CCD camera, and closely match the visual appearance of the Moon when viewed through a modest (3-inch to 8-inch) telescope. (Depending on seeing, of course.) Each picture is shown oriented "as the Moon really is" when viewed from the northern hemisphere, and is supplemented by exquisite computer sketches that list the main features. Two separate computer sketches are provided to go with each photograph, one oriented to appear as seen through an SCT telescope (e.g. the Meade and Celestron ranges), the other oriented for Newtonian and refracting telescopes. It is worth commenting that most observers find it extremely difficult to identify lunar features when using a conventional atlas and SCT telescope – the human brain is very poor at making "mirror-image" visual translations.
There is a page of descriptions for the salient features in each photograph.
Finally, an index at the end of the book lists all the features identified, and gives their approximate height, depth and for crater, diameter.
Most books on stargazing claim to be for beginners, but by page 12 are talking about celestial equators and sidereal months. No wonder so many people have planispheres but no idea how to use them.
Working at the planetarium in Greenwich, Anton has met hundreds of enthusiastic but utterly bemused beginners of all ages, and has made sense of the night sky for them. In this book he introduces the night sky just as if he were by your side, pointing everything out. And contrary to popular belief, you don't need any expensive equipment to start skygazing. Anton takes you through all the things you can discover with just the naked eye.
The book is suitable for use in the northern and southern hemispheres – two sections give equal coverage to where to start and what you can see wherever you are in the world, whenever.
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.