An Introduction to Observational Astrophysics

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Springer, Nov 16, 2015 - Science - 204 pages
Observational Astrophysics follows the general outline of an astrophysics undergraduate curriculum targeting practical observing information to what will be covered at the university level. This includes the basics of optics and coordinate systems to the technical details of CCD imaging, photometry, spectography and radio astronomy. General enough to be used by students at a variety of institutions and advanced enough to be far more useful than observing guides targeted at amateurs, the author provides a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of observational astrophysics at undergraduate level to be used with a university’s teaching telescope. The practical approach takes the reader from basic first year techniques to those required for a final year project. Using this textbook as a resource, students can easily become conversant in the practical aspects of astrophysics in the field as opposed to the classroom.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Nature of Light
7
3 The Telescope
20
4 Time
35
5 Spheres and Coordinates
42
6 Catalogues and Constellations
53
7 The Astronomical Detector
66
8 Imaging
91
11 Errors
144
12 Solar Astronomy
153
13 Spectrography
163
14 Radio Astronomy
170
15 Astrometry
183
Glossary
189
Further Reading
196
Index
199

9 Image Reduction and Processing
119
10 Photometry
129

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About the author (2015)

Dr. Mark Gallaway holds an undergraduate honors degree in Physical Science from the Open University and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire, UK (one of the largest astrophysics research groups in the UK). He has taught observational astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory (the largest such observatory in the UK and one of the largest robotic observatories in Europe) for three years, continuing to do so after he became the Observatory Manager in 2011.

During his current tenure Dr. Gallaway has overseen both a large increase in student numbers and a refocusing of the observatory to one of the UK’s leading small telescope research facilities. He is currently the PI of the Bayfordbury Supernova Search program, the Bayfordbury SuperWasp CV (Cataclysmic Variable) Follow-up program and the Bayfordbury NEO (Near Earth Object) Search. Dr. Gallaway is also a lead member of the M-Dwarf transit survey.

He regularly appears on the BBC and other UK national broadcasters both as an expert. Furthermore, Dr. Gallaway has consulted on a number of general science programs in including the BBC documentary “How Satellites Rule Our Lives” and the series “How dangerous is....?”

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