Cover image for Through the telescope : a guide for the amateur astronomer
Title:
Through the telescope : a guide for the amateur astronomer
Author:
Barnes-Svarney, Patricia L.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Revised and updated.
Publication Information:
New York : McGraw Hill, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
x, 309 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780071348041
Format :
Book

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Call Number
Material Type
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Central Library QB63 .P59 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

In the ten years since this award-winning book was originally written by Michael Porcellino, the field of astronomy and its discoveries has grown by leaps and bounds. From the astounding images sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope, to the bright comet Hale-Bopp from the fleet of Martian probes, to the long-distance explorations of the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn--the universe has become more accessible than ever. And thanks to this revised and thoroughly updated new edition by astronomer and science writer, Patricia Barnes-Svarney, anyone with an interest can delve into its wonders. From the very close up to the far reaches of space, THROUGH THE TELESCOPE presents a uniquely "user-friendly" view of the universe, and offers both novice and advanced amateur astronomers some of the best tools available to watch the nighttime skies.You'll learn all about:* Setting up a good, user-friendly telescope system* How to look at the universe in order to really see it* Upgrading your telescope for peak performance* How to spot a star cluster, a nebulaÖeven a supernova* Forming your own network of amateur astronomers. Complete with a web site appendix and fully updated charts on eclipses and planetary oppositions well into the year 2000, this edition of an acclaimed book will be an invaluable users guide for aspiring astronomers entering the new millennium.


Author Notes

Patricia L. Barnes-Svarney is the author of more than twenty books on popular science for adults and children, as well as numerous articles in such journals as Popular Science, Air and Space, Astronomy, Final Frontier, Omni and Ad Astra. Her extensive background in the physical sciences includes degrees in Geology and Geography, and professional experience in astronomy, geomorphology, and physical oceanography.
Michael R. Porcellino was an amateur astronomer for more than 30 years, as well as an active member of the Chicago Astronomical Society, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, and the American Association of Variable Star Observers.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. VII
Acknowledgmentsp. IX
1 The Amateur in Astronomyp. 1
The Amateur Tradition in Astronomyp. 1
Why Amateur Astronomy?p. 3
Contributions from the Amateurp. 4
One Amateur's Experiencep. 5
Another Experiencep. 6
2 The Eye and Astronomyp. 9
How the Eye Worksp. 9
Dark Adaptationp. 12
The Limits of Visionp. 13
Light Pollutionp. 14
Naked-Eye Astronomyp. 19
3 Binocular Astronomyp. 21
Binocular Factsp. 21
Selecting and Testing Binocularsp. 25
Observing with Binocularsp. 26
4 Tools of the Astronomerp. 31
Functions of a Telescope: Light Graspp. 32
Limiting Magnitudesp. 33
Image Brightnessp. 33
Functions of a Telescope: Resolutionp. 34
The Resolving Power of a Telescopep. 35
Functions of a Telescope: Magnificationp. 37
Optical Imperfectionsp. 38
Telescope Types: the Retractorp. 40
Telescope Types: the Reflectorp. 42
Telescope Types: the Catadioptricp. 44
Other Factors in Selecting a Telescopep. 45
Taking Your Scope for a Test Drivep. 48
Aligning the Opticsp. 49
Star Testing the Telescopep. 53
5 Eyepieces and Mountingsp. 55
Eyepiecesp. 55
Eyepiece Aberrationsp. 57
Eyepiece Barrelsp. 57
Types of Eyepiecesp. 58
Selecting an Eyepiecep. 61
Telescope Mountsp. 63
Altazimuth Mountsp. 64
Equatorial Mountsp. 65
Aligning an Equatorialp. 65
6 Finding Your Way Around the Skyp. 67
Coordinates on the Skyp. 67
Right Ascension and Declinationp. 67
Horizon Coordinatesp. 69
Timep. 79
Road Maps to the Starsp. 72
Finding Your Targetp. 74
Telescopic Imagesp. 78
7 Your First Night Outp. 83
The Atmospherep. 83
Transparencyp. 84
Seeingp. 85
Measuring Seeing and Transparencyp. 86
Other Atmospheric Tricksp. 87
The Art of Seeingp. 88
Protecting Your Vision--and Yourselfp. 91
Getting Technicalp. 92
Tuning Inp. 94
Great Expectationsp. 95
8 Observing the Moonp. 99
The Double Planetary Systemp. 100
Lunar Geographyp. 101
Take the Terminator Tourp. 105
The Moon and the Serious Observerp. 118
Map and Filtersp. 118
Studying Lunar Domesp. 119
Making a Detailed Studyp. 120
Studying Occultationsp. 122
9 Observing the Planetsp. 125
The Amateur's Solar Systemp. 126
Considerations for the Planetary Observerp. 129
Observing Venusp. 132
Observing Marsp. 137
A Tale of Two Orbitsp. 137
Telescopes and Marsp. 139
A Martian Geography Lessonp. 140
Martian Polar Capsp. 143
Martian Weatherp. 146
Martian Surface Featuresp. 147
Drawing Marsp. 149
Observing Jupiterp. 153
Transits of the Central Meridianp. 154
Jovian Featuresp. 158
Drawing Jupiterp. 160
The Satellites of Jupiterp. 161
Observing Saturnp. 164
The Rings of Saturnp. 165
The Satellites of Saturnp. 167
Sighting Asidesp. 167
10 Observing Comets, Asteroids, and Meteorsp. 169
Cometsp. 169
Cometary Geographyp. 170
The Role of the Amateurp. 174
When and Where to Lookp. 175
Reporting Your Findp. 177
Tracking a Cometp. 180
Asteroidsp. 182
History of Minor Planetsp. 182
The Amateur Asteroid Hunterp. 184
Meteorsp. 185
11 Observing Double Starsp. 189
The Language of Double Starsp. 191
Observing Double Starsp. 192
Double Star Colorsp. 197
Making Measurements of Double Starsp. 198
Double Stars for the Telescopep. 201
12 Observing Variable Starsp. 203
Types of Variable Starsp. 203
Finding Variable Starsp. 207
Making Magnitude Estimatesp. 212
Keeping Recordsp. 215
Telescopes for Variable Star Observingp. 220
13 Observing Deep-Sky Objectsp. 223
Telescopes, Image Brightness, and the Deep Skyp. 223
Aids for the Deep-Sky Observerp. 225
Letters, Numbers, and Listsp. 228
Star Clustersp. 229
Star Clusters for the Telescopep. 232
Nebulaep. 235
Nebulae for the Telescopep. 236
Galaxiesp. 238
Galaxies for the Telescopep. 239
Galaxies, Supernovae, and the Amateurp. 241
Drawing the Deep Skyp. 242
14 Observing the Sunp. 245
Telescopes, Filters, and the Sunp. 245
The Solar Landscapep. 249
Contributions from the Amateurp. 252
Solar Eclipsesp. 255
15 The Amateur Experiencep. 259
The Stars and the Solitary Observerp. 260
Your Local Astronomy Clubp. 261
Sharing the Experiencep. 261
Why We Tryp. 262
Appendicesp. 265
A Internet Links of Interestp. 265
B Astronomy Software and CD-ROMsp. 269
C Selected Groups for the Amateur Astronomerp. 272
D Upcoming Planetary Oppositions and Solar and Lunar Eclipsesp. 277
E The Messier Catalogp. 279
F Deep-Sky Objects for the Telescopep. 283
G Double Stars for the Telescopep. 285
H Variable Stars for the Telescopep. 289
I Constellations Visible from 40[degree] Northp. 291
J The Greek Alphabetp. 293
K Astronomical Suppliersp. 294
Books, Magazines, and Bibliographyp. 298
Indexp. 303

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