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Astronomical Observations : An Optical Perspective - Gordon Walker

Astronomical Observations

An Optical Perspective

Paperback

Published: 20th April 1987
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This book is an up-to-date and comprehensive account of current observational techniques with particular emphasis on optical astronomy. Dr Walker, a world expert in astronomical instrumentation, has written a complete survey of the basic electromagnetic spectrum. The author discusses the types and sources of stellar electromagnetic radiation and the range of telescopes that are used to observe them. Topics covered include the construction of sensitive low-noise detectors, preservation of image quality, and the limits to measurement precision. The book is particularly timely because astronomers now have access to a wide range of telescopes on the ground and in orbit. With increasing demand for observing time, it is important to understand the principles and limitations of the instruments and techniques. This book is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students studying observational astronomy. It will provide a ready source of reference for professional astronomers. Physicists and electronic engineers will also find this an absorbing account of the techniques of astronomical observation.

Prefacep. xi
Astronomical sourcesp. 1
The electromagnetic spectrump. 1
Several astronomiesp. 4
Thermal radiation from an ideal sourcep. 6
Dilute radiationp. 7
Starsp. 8
Magnitudesp. 11
Magnitude systemsp. 13
Inverse square lawp. 13
Interstellar dustp. 15
Absolute magnitudes and colour excessp. 16
Bolometric magnitudes and bolometric correctionsp. 19
Surface photometryp. 19
The estimation of absolute magnitudep. 20
Nebulae and high temperature plasmasp. 22
Thermal radiationp. 22
Emission linesp. 25
Non-thermal radiationp. 26
Synchrotron radiationp. 26
Inverse Compton scatteringp. 27
Cerenkov radiationp. 28
The Zeeman effectp. 29
Observational limitsp. 31
Coherencep. 31
Coherence time and lengthp. 34
Photon fluxp. 35
Photon noisep. 35
Wave noisep. 37
Detectionp. 40
Incoherent detectionp. 40
Coherent detectionp. 41
Detection limitsp. 42
Opticalp. 42
Infrared and radiop. 45
Fluxes and limit estimates in janskysp. 46
Air massp. 46
Optical extinction by the atmospherep. 47
Atmospheric transparency at radio frequenciesp. 50
Sky brightnessp. 51
Radio sky brightnessp. 52
Celestial coordinatesp. 53
Precessionp. 54
Julian Dayp. 55
Proper motionp. 56
Aberration of starlightp. 56
Astrometric precision and astrometric cataloguesp. 57
Doppler shift, radial velocityp. 60
Autocorrelation techniquesp. 61
Precise differential radial velocitiesp. 62
Radio frequency radial velocitiesp. 63
Red shift and the K correctionp. 63
Red shift from colourp. 64
Barycentric and heliocentric correctionsp. 64
Telescopesp. 66
Single telescopesp. 66
Gamma-ray telescopes - Cos-Bp. 66
Non-focussing collimatorsp. 70
Phased arraysp. 75
Pencil beam interferometersp. 78
Reflecting telescopesp. 79
Telescope exit pupilp. 82
Reflectivityp. 83
Grazing incidence opticsp. 85
Oblique aberrationsp. 91
Schmidt telescopesp. 93
Ritchey--Chretien telescopesp. 101
Instrument adaptors/offset guidersp. 105
Infrared telescopesp. 105
Coude focusp. 109
Telescope flexurep. 111
Induced polarisationp. 114
Optical fibresp. 115
Refracting telescopesp. 116
Telescope orientationp. 117
Atmospheric refractionp. 118
Optical apodisation and the tapering of radio antenaep. 120
Optical apodisationp. 120
Tapering of radio antennae and feed hornsp. 122
Seeing, speckles, and scintillationp. 125
Modulation (MTF) and optical transfer functions (OTF)p. 125
Telescope transfer function and atmospheric transfer functionp. 126
Optimum samplingp. 127
Atmospheric turbulencep. 130
Specklesp. 131
Speckle interferometryp. 132
Amplitude interferometryp. 136
Seeingp. 137
Scintillationp. 139
Optical image profiles (long exposure OTF)p. 140
Choice of optical telescope sitesp. 141
Seeing compensation techniquesp. 144
Scintillation at radio frequenciesp. 146
Ionospheric birefringencep. 150
Spectrographsp. 151
Grating spectrographsp. 151
Efficiency in the presence of seeingp. 151
Image slicersp. 154
Extended sourcesp. 155
Spectral resolution and grating characteristicsp. 156
Echelle spectrographsp. 160
X-ray and infraredp. 162
Wide field spectroscopyp. 164
Objective prism, grism, and grensp. 164
Aperture platesp. 165
Fabry--Perot interferometersp. 169
Michelson interferometerp. 172
The Fellgett and multiplex advantagesp. 175
The Jaquinot advantagep. 176
Autocorrelation spectroscopy at radio frequenciesp. 177
Dilute aperturesp. 179
The interplanetary gamma-ray burst networkp. 179
Two-beam interferometryp. 180
Intensity interferometryp. 180
The Michelson stellar interferometerp. 186
Opticalp. 186
Infrared incoherent detectionp. 189
Infrared coherent detectionp. 191
Radio interferometersp. 193
Long baseline interferometryp. 195
Aperture synthesisp. 198
The very large arrayp. 204
Occultationsp. 207
Lunar occultationsp. 207
X-rayp. 209
Optical and infraredp. 210
Radiop. 212
Single channelled detectorsp. 216
Incoherent detectionp. 216
Responsive quantum efficiency (RQE)p. 216
RQE enhancementp. 218
Detective quantum efficiency (DQE)p. 218
Analogue integrationp. 219
Photon countingp. 220
Pile-up errorsp. 220
The silicon diode: an analogue detectorp. 220
Reset (KTC) noisep. 221
Dark noisep. 222
The photomultiplier: a photon counting detectorp. 223
Dark noisep. 226
DQE of a photon counting photomultiplier systemp. 228
A photoelectric photometerp. 230
Photometric observationsp. 231
Monochromatorsp. 231
Absorption filtersp. 232
Interference filtersp. 233
Photometric errors from out-of-band radiationp. 235
Polarimetryp. 239
Gamma-ray and X-ray detectorsp. 242
Infrared detectorsp. 244
Noise in semiconductorsp. 245
Noise equivalent power (NEP)p. 246
Thermal detectorsp. 247
Photoconductive detectorsp. 248
Photovoltaic detectorsp. 250
Background radiationp. 250
Signal-to-noise and DQEp. 254
Coherent detectionp. 254
Radio receiversp. 254
Infrared heterodynep. 257
Multi-channelled incoherent detectorsp. 260
Photographic emulsion plus microdensitometerp. 260
The photographic processp. 260
Microdensitometer/microphotometersp. 261
DQE of photographic emulsionsp. 265
Hypersensitisingp. 267
Photographic enhancement and unsharp maskingp. 268
Photographic emulsion plus image intensifierp. 273
Magnetically focussed intensifiersp. 276
Electrostatically focussed intensifiersp. 276
Proximity focussed intensifiersp. 277
Coupling of phosphor output and detectorp. 279
Electronographyp. 281
Signal generating detectorsp. 284
Analogue and photon counting television camerasp. 284
The SEC vidicon, a 2D analogue integrating detectorp. 285
Photon counting television systemsp. 287
The silicon diode, SIT, and ISIT vidiconsp. 288
Image tube scanner (ITS)p. 289
Finding and guidingp. 289
Limitations of television camerasp. 289
Solid state detectorsp. 290
Self-scanned silicon diode arrays (Reticon)p. 290
Analogue integrationp. 293
Photon countingp. 294
The digiconp. 296
Charge transfer devicesp. 297
Analogue integrationp. 299
CIDp. 299
CCDp. 300
Photon countingp. 307
Multi-anode, resistive anode, and microchannel arraysp. 307
Resistive anode MCPp. 307
The microchannel array (MAMA) detectorp. 309
Effect of cosmic raysp. 309
Photon counting vs. integration for visible detectorsp. 311
High resolution imaging X-ray detector (HRI)p. 315
SI Units and symbolsp. 317
Errors of observationp. 319
Referencesp. 321
Indexp. 342
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521339070
ISBN-10: 0521339073
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 20th April 1987
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.4  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.62