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An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens

$32.99 (G)

  • Author: Ian Morison, University of Manchester and Gresham College, London
  • Date Published: May 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107619609

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens is a highly comprehensive guidebook that bridges the gap between the beginners' and hobbyists' books and the many specialised and subject-specific texts for more advanced amateur astronomers. Written by an experienced astronomer and educator, the book is a one-stop reference providing extensive information and advice about observing and imaging equipment, with detailed examples showing how best to use them. In addition to providing in-depth knowledge about every type of astronomical telescope and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, two chapters offer advice on making visual observations of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and galaxies. All types of modern astronomical imaging are covered, with step-by-step details given on the use of DSLRs and web-cams for solar, lunar and planetary imaging and the use of DSLRs and cooled CCD cameras for deep sky imaging.

    • Bridges the gap between books aimed at beginners and those on specific topics for advanced amateurs, and covers virtually all aspects of the hobby
    • Gives in-depth accounts about virtually all the equipment: telescopes, mounts, accessories and imaging equipment that an advancing amateur might use
    • Discusses how best to make visual observations of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and galaxies and gives details of the many observing aids that will aid amateurs pursuing this most important part of the hobby
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Ian Morison’s new amateur astronomy guide is a rare gem. The book tackles the major aspects of our hobby with clear and insightful writing. His experience both as an astronomer and an observer shine through. Personally I found the photos and sections on astro-imaging extremely helpful and refreshing. Several times his advice prompted me to call up a DSLR image on my computer and start working on it in Photoshop following his clever suggestions. Bravo!"
    Stephen James O’Meara, Astronomy magazine columnist and author of the Deep-Sky Companions series

    "An Amateur’s Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens is a book I would greatly recommend. It covers many key points in detail, in what can be a bewildering subject to those starting out. Topics from telescope choice and calibration to image processing with Photoshop are all covered in detail. This book will serve anyone as a good overall guide on modern amateur astrophotography."
    Damian Peach, astrophotographer (

    "Morison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this book with a detailed level of practical knowledge on the use of observing equipment."
    BBC Sky at Night Magazine

    "This is the best guide to observing and imaging that I have seen for a long time … I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I think that even very experienced amateurs will learn something new …"
    Kieran McGrath, SCS Astro

    "… contains one of the most accessible and informed reviews of currently available telescope systems that I have seen in any recent book."
    Nick James, The Observatory

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107619609
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 187 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 105 b/w illus. 12 colour illus. 2 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue: a tale of two scopes
    1. Telescope and observing fundamentals
    2. Refractors
    3. Binoculars and spotting scopes
    4. The Newtonian telescope and its derivatives
    5. The Cassegrain telescope and its derivatives – Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutovs
    6. Telescope maintenance, collimation and star testing
    7. Telescope accessories: finders, eyepieces and bino-viewers
    8. Telescope mounts: alt/az and equatorial with their computerised variants
    9. The art of visual observing
    10. Visual observations of the Moon and planets
    11. Imaging the Moon and planets with DSLRs and web-cams
    12. Observing and imaging the Sun in white light and H-alpha
    13. Observing with an astro-video camera to 'see' faint objects
    14. Deep sky imaging with standard and H-alpha modified DSLR cameras
    15. Deep sky imaging with cooled CCD cameras
    16. Auto-guiding techniques and equipment
    17. Spectral studies of the Sun, stars and galaxies
    18. Improving and enhancing images in Photoshop

  • Author

    Ian Morison, University of Manchester and Gresham College, London
    Ian Morison spent his professional career as a radio-astronomer at the Jodrell Bank Observatory. The International Astronomical Union has recognised his work by naming an asteroid in his honour. He is an honorary member of the Macclesfield Astronomical Society, which he also helped found, and a council member and past president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, United Kingdom. In 2007 he was appointed Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, the oldest chair of astronomy in the world. He is author of numerous articles for the astronomical press and of a university astronomy textbook, and writes a monthly online sky guide and audio podcast for the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

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