Synopses & Reviews
Transmission grating spectroscopes look like simple filters and are designed to screw into place on the eyepiece tube of a telescope for visual use, or into a camera adapter for digicam or CCD imaging. They are relatively inexpensive and by far the easiest type of astronomical spectroscope to use, and so are the starting point for most beginners. Using the most popular commercially made filter gratings - from Rainbow Optics in the United States to Star Analyser in the United Kingdon - as examples, the book provides all the information needed to set up and use the grating to obtain stellar spectra. It also presents methods of analyzing the results. No heavy mathematics or formulas are involved, although a reasonable level of proficiency in using an astronomic telescope and, if relevant, imaging camera, is assumed. This book contains many practical hints and tips - something that is almost essential to success when starting out. It encourages new users to get quick results, and by following the worked examples, successfully carry out basic analysis of spectra. With this author's earlier (intermediate level) book, Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs, this book provides a perfect companion for those who want to know a lot more about what spectrographs tell us about the stars. And you'd be surprised at how much they tell us!
Grating Spectroscopes and How to Use Them is written for amateur astronomers who are just getting into this field of astronomy. Transmission grating spectroscopes look like simple filters and are designed to screw into place on the eyepiece of a telescope for visual use, or into the camera adapter for digicam or CCD imaging. Using the most popular commercially made filter gratings - Rainbow Optics (US) and Star Analyzer (UK) - as examples, this book provides the reader with information on how to set up and use the grating one needs to obtain stellar spectrograms. It also discusses several methods on analyzing the results. This book is written in an easy to read style, perfect for getting started on the first night using the spectroscope, and specifically showing how the simple transmission filter is used on the camera or telescope. No heavy mathematics or formulas are involved, and there are many practical hints and tips - something that is almost essential to success when starting out. This book helps readers to achieve quick results, and by following the worked examples, they can successfully carry out basic analysis of the spectra.
Written for amateur astronomers just getting into this area of the subject, this is the perfect companion for first-time spectroscope users, with no heavy mathematics and with information on how to buy and use an entry-level spectroscope costing around $150.
About the Author
An avid amateur astronomer, Ken Harrison was born in Scotland where he trained as a mechanical engineer. He has been designing and building telescopes since the early 1960's and has built a series of spectroscopes for use on medium-sized amateur telescopes. He was Section Director of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia, Astrophotographic Section for ten years and past president of the society. Harrison's university thesis (and his first publication) was Design and Construction of the Isaac Newton 98-inch Telescope (Strathclyde University, 1970). Since then he has published articles on optical design including "Blink Comparison" (BAA Journal Vol. 87, pg. 94) and "Method of Radially Supporting Large Mirrors" (Vol. 87, p. 154). He has made contributions to the Astronomical Society of Victoria Newslettre and was for three years the Editor of the 'N'Daba' newsletter of the Natal Centre, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. His first book for Springer, called Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs (2010) serves as a useful companion to this volume.
Table of Contents
Preface.- Quick Start Guide.- Chapter 1: Some Background and Basics.- Chapter 2: Imaging a Spectrum with the Grating.- Chapter 3: My First Spectrum -What Else Can I Record?.- Chapter 4: Processing Spectra.- Chapter 5: Improving Your Grating Spectroscope.- Chapter 6: Some Technical (Nice to Know) Stuff.- Chapter 7: Spectral Analysis - A Bit of Theory.- Appendices.- Appendix A: The Greek Alphabet.- Appendix B: The Brightest Stars.- Appendix C: The Brightest Be Stars.- Appendix D: The Brightest Wolf-Rayet Stars.- Appendix E: The Brightest Red and Carbon Stars.- Appendix F: Suppliers of Spectroscope Gratings and Accessories.- Appendix G: Spectroscopy Forums.- For Further Information.- Glossary.- Index.