Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Measuring the Universe
A Multiwavelength Perspective


Award Winner
  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108405232

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Astronomy is an observational science, renewed and even revolutionized by new developments in instrumentation. With the resulting growth of multiwavelength investigation as an engine of discovery, it is increasingly important for astronomers to understand the underlying physical principles and operational characteristics for a broad range of instruments. This comprehensive text is ideal for graduate students, active researchers and instrument developers. It is a thorough review of how astronomers obtain their data, covering current approaches to astronomical measurements from radio to gamma rays. The focus is on current technology rather than the history of the field, allowing each topic to be discussed in depth. Areas covered include telescopes, detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, adaptive optics and high-contrast imaging, millimeter-wave and radio receivers, radio and optical/infrared interferometry, and X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, all at a level that bridges the gap between the basic principles of optics and the subject's abundant specialist literature. Color versions of figures and solutions to selected problems are available online at

    • A unified, comprehensive guide to astronomical instrumentation, focusing on modern instrumentation in widespread use and outlining the most up-to-date methods of astronomical data collection
    • Includes problem sets and worked examples - electronic versions of the figures are also available online at
    • Suitable as a main text on astronomical instrumentation or a supplementary text in most astrophysics graduate courses and for professionals active in the field
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2013 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This text fills a long-standing need for a broad treatment of modern observational astronomy techniques suitable for graduate and upper-division undergraduate students of astronomy, physics, and engineering. It provides useful descriptions of practical issues that are encountered when applying the techniques and technologies.' Jason Glenn, University of Colorado, Boulder

    'Rieke is an ambassador of astronomical hardware, making the world of telescopes, instruments and detectors intelligible and palatable to observers, and those who analyze and model data. This textbook, written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, provides an excellent starting point and overview for those who venture into building hardware. For those who just use astronomical facilities and data, the book provides precisely all they 'need to know'.' Hans-Walter Rix, Director, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg

    'This textbook fills a real void. It is an excellent overview of the broad range of tools, technologies, and principles that modern observational astronomers use to address the major frontier areas of research. In our era of multi-waveband 'panchromatic' observations, this book will be a valuable resource for educating graduate students and an excellent reference for senior observational astronomers who are venturing into new territory.' Timothy Heckman, Dr A. Hermann Pfund Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University

    'This excellent textbook has the range and depth to provide a great introduction to the techniques of modern astronomy for senior undergraduates or physics graduates starting an observational PhD with data from one of the major ground or space observatories. From traditional telescopes to gravitational wave detection it brings together in one reference the barrage of approaches we now use to unravel the secrets of the Universe.' Gillian Wright, STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre

    '… this is a directory on extant technology and as such is a useful and comprehensive directory in itself. But it is much more than that alone, covering telescopes, detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, adaptive optics and high-contrast imaging, millimetre-wave and radio reviewers, radio and optical infrared interferometry, and X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy. … Where this book derives its greatest value is in the focus on instruments and detectors …' Spaceflight

    'Measuring the Universe provides a backbone of understanding to build on. Among its major strengths are its spare and uncluttered style, its good use of equations and figures, and its problem sets.' Physics Today

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108405232
    • length: 355 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 172 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 175 b/w illus. 50 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Gathering light - the telescope
    3. Sensing the light: detectors for the optical and infrared
    4. Imaging and astrometry
    5. Photometry and polarimetry
    6. Spectroscopy
    7. Adaptive optics (AO) and high contrast imaging
    8. Submillimeter and radio astronomy
    9. Interferometry and aperture synthesis
    10. X-ray and gamma-ray

  • Resources for

    Measuring the Universe

    George H. Rieke

    Lecturer Resources

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    *This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to lecturers adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.

    These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Astronomical Observations, Instrumentation and Data Analysis
    • Astronomical Techniques
    • Astronomical Techniques and Instrumentation
    • From the first stars to Galaxies
    • Introduction to Astronomy
    • Modern Observational Techniques
    • Observational Astronomy
    • Observational Astronomy, Methods & Instrumentation
    • Observational Techniques of Modern Astrophysics
    • Techniques of Observational Astronomy
  • Author

    George H. Rieke, University of Arizona
    George H. Rieke is Regents Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, Deputy Director of Steward Observatory, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Professor Rieke is Science Lead for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and was Principal Investigator of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). He has also led construction of a broad range of groundbased instruments and has taught core graduate courses on instrumentation throughout his career.


    • Winner of the 2013 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.