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Imaging the Southern Sky: An Amateur Astronomer's Guide (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series)

Imaging the Southern Sky: An Amateur Astronomer's Guide (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Chadwick , Ian Cooper

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Product Description


From the reviews:

“The book is a compendious colour atlas of all that is glamorous south of the celestial equator. … This volume should be on the shelves of any amateur astronomers who aspire to produce professional-standard images, whether they live north or south of the equator. And for casual stargazers, it doubles as an excellent guide to the southern hemisphere’s most sumptuous star clusters. Highly recommended.” (Fred Watson, The Observatory, Vol. 134 (1239), April, 2014)

Product Description

This book is not about imaging from the southern hemisphere, but rather about imaging those areas of the sky that lie south of the celestial equator. Many of the astronomical objects presented are also accessible to northern hemisphere imagers, including those in both the USA and Europe. Imaging the Southern Sky discusses over 150 of the best southern objects to image, including nebulae, galaxies, and planetaries, each one accompanied by a spectacular color image. This book also includes sections on both image capturing and processing techniques and so makes an ideal all-in-one introduction. Furthermore, because it contains an in-depth study of how to capture all the objects, many of which are rarely imaged by amateurs and professionals alike, it is also extremely useful for the more advanced imager.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9694 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Springer New York; 1 edition (12 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #796,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource 28 April 2013
By Seeker372011 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a bit sceptical when I ordered this book

After all I have The Night Sky Observers Guide for the Southern Skies, Steve Omeara's Southern Gems, half a dozen no make it a dozen star atlases and other resources

It's great for the imager and focused on the imagers needs

Sure I know and have already imaged heaps of the more obvious targets
Thee is still enough here to keep me interested for a long while yet

So of you have southern sky access are an imager get the book

You won't regret it

I imaged RCW 106 and 104 last night and chose these targets based on the book so this is a real imager posting this review


On my iPad the layout leaves something to be desired

There is some sloppy editing

But overall this is value for your money

PS I haven't seen the hard copy
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Time Waiting 1 Feb 2013
By Heike - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent!! This Book is an Invaluable Companion for any beginner on Advanced Astronomer interested in Imaging the Southern Splendors and more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent coverage of the Southern Sky. 4 Jun 2013
By Dr R Morgan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A book crammed with many tips and suggestions for amateur astronomers interested in imaging the southern sky. The authors manage to show what great results you can achieve from relatively simple setups of camera and telescope. I recommend this text for all those interested in finding out more about the delights that the southern sky has to offer.
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful reference very bad quality printing 10 April 2013
By Luis Argerich - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Living in the Southern hemisphere I had great expectations for this book. It resulted a nice reference of the most interesting deep sky
objects south of the equator. One major pitfall is that the magnitude of the objects is not mentioned and is really important information.
An indication of the best months to imagine each object would also be useful.

The biggest problem with this book is the print quality, it is exactly as if you printed the photos in regular paper on your home inkjet
printer. With a strong light you can even see the columns of ink in the images. This is probably the lowest quality I've ever found in
photos in a printed book.

With a good quality printing and a little more information this book would be a gem, as-is it's a useful reference, just.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book 4 April 2013
By Dr. Jonathan C. Powles - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has quickly taken pride of place in my astronomy library. As an amateur astronomer and astroimager with bold aspirations but only developing experience, this book was an invaluable guide. The fact that, living in Canberra, I have access to the half of the heavens with all the best deep sky objects ;-), that are neglected in so many other books, makes Chadwick and Cooper's simply indispensable.

The book acknowledges its inspiration and model as Ruiben Kier's "The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets." Kiers book is excellent in its own right (if somewhat poorly titled: it should be "The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets Visible from North America"). Chadwick and Cooper adopt a similar structure to Kier, with Part 1 comprising individual entries on and photographs of over 130 deep sky objects, and Part 2 being a general coverage of equipment, imaging technique, and processing.

The second section is well-written, and has clear and informative advice for both the beginner and more experienced imager. This sort of advice is available in many other places: Kier's book, for instance, has a very similar section; while Charles Bracken's book "The Deep Sky Imaging Primer" (released February 2013), as a stand-alone general text with no coverage of particular targets, treats all these issues in considerably more depth. Chadwick and Cooper's section is very much focused on practical advice, and as such is extremely helpful. For instance, the section on factors to weigh up when calculating the duration of sub-exposures, while only a few pages long, contained rules of thumb potentially more useful to most amateurs than the many pages of technical data to do with calculation of precise signal-to-noise ratios based on sensor temperature, or the exact equation linking arc-second resolution with pixel size, as can be found in technical manuals on the subject.

Where the book really comes into its own is in Part 1, the survey of the best targets in the Southern skies. Here the authors succeed in providing individual object entries that are all at once engaging, practical, useful and inspiring. There are five components to each entry:

1) Name, designation, position and constellation

Fairly standard, except that the authors have chosen to enliven the drab catalogue designations which grace most Southern hemisphere objects with more descriptive titles named from history (e.g. John Herschel's identification of the "Keyhole Nebula" in NGC3372), from Southern indigenous cultures (e.g. the "Dark Emu" that runs from its head, the Coalsack in Crux, down to Scorpius), through to names bestowed by amateur and professional astronomers that have "stuck" (e.g. the "Toby Jug Nebula" IC2220).

2) Description

This section gives a brief account of the nature of the object, its size and magnitude (crucial for decisions about framing). Sometimes there is a little history, and a discussion of how the object looks at the eyepiece.

3) Imaging

This is the really gutsy part of the book. All the stuff here is practical and directly useful to the imager looking for guidance: "This globular cluster is best imaged with a camera/scope setup that provides a field of view of no more than 50' x 30'" (NGC4372), "Accurate flats are required when imaging this object to ensure that all gradients are remove in order to bring out the faint galactic tails" (NGC 4038-39), "Exposure times must be kept short in order to prevent the saturation of the brightest stars in the cluster and the introduction of false bluish color around them" (IC 2602).

4) One or more images

The images themselves are beautiful and worth the price of the book. One of the best things about them is that they are all images taken by the authors, and give a real indication of what is achievable with a particular equipment in range of the amateur.

5) Technical details of the images

Telescope, focal length, F-ratio, camera, exposure details, binning, field size. One of the great things about this book is that the range of equipment is all within reach. In other books, I despair at some of the image technical specifications ("12 x 100 min subs taken with a 90 cm Takahashi Superdupe with a XBY!#&D CCD cooled with liquid hydrogen to -200 degrees with solid platinum filter wheel, on a Paramountain Excelsior 12-tonne pier" or somesuch). The telescopes used are all available for under $5000 (some considerably less); the mounts used are EQ6 and Losmandy Titan; and the cameras are QHY and QSI CCDs in the $2k to $5k price range. There is also extensive advice aimed at the DSLR imager. So the equipment is very much in line with that available to the serious amateur; and someone who can put an 80mmn refractor or 8" reflector or SCT on an EQ6 mount and can afford $2k for a bottom-end CCD or goodish modded DSLR will get a great deal of guidance and inspiration from this book.
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