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A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars: A Pocket Field Guide (Astronomer's Pocket Field Guide)

A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars: A Pocket Field Guide (Astronomer's Pocket Field Guide) [Kindle Edition]

Jack Martin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


From the reviews:

“Published by Springer as part of the Astronomer’s Pocket Field Guide series. … this new series is to ‘provide succinct, targeted information for practical observers.’ and in this regard Jack’s book fits the bill. In 200 pages it covers the subject very well. … This Atlas provides a wealth of data for the beginner in spectroscopy and provides useful comparison spectra for a whole range of stars which are easily visible in the northern hemisphere.” (Ken Harrison, Federation of Astronomical Societies, Vol. 93, Spring, 2010)

“The author has spent many years obtaining the spectra of about 70 of the apparently brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere, using a 12 inch Dobsonian, a Rainbow Optics transmission grating and a photographic camera using black and white film. … it will be useful to teachers at schools or colleges who would like their students to do some elementary astronomical spectroscopy. The combination of finder charts and spectra for the brightest stars makes it a handy reference for such a purpose.” (E. Norman Walker, Astronomy Now, August, 2010)

“This pocket guide is a noble attempt to introduce practical stellar spectroscopy into backyard star-gazing. Imaging the spectra of bright stars is a hobby which Martin has pursued for many years, and is now offering to share with those who could easily follow … . he devotes a few pages to history and to scientific and technical explanation, with the rest of the book given over to the Atlas itself, displaying his own spectra of 72 stars.” (Elizabeth Griffin, The Observatory, Vol. 130, October, 2010)

Product Description

A Spectroscopic Atlas of the Stars: A Pocket Field Guide is a standard reference book for all amateur astronomers interested in practical spectroscopy or spectrography. For the first time in one place, it identifies more than 70 (northern hemisphere) bright stars that are suitable observational targets for both amateurs and astronomy students.

Finder charts are provided for locating these sometimes-familiar stars. Data for each star includes labelled stellar spectra, a spectral profile with spectral lines identified. These are conveniently laid out on a single page, opposite tables of spectroscopic properties, and lines and wavelengths identified.

This is the first Spectral Atlas designed for amateur astronomers. It is equally relevant to college undergraduates, being intended to familiarize astronomers of any age and level of knowledge with labelled stellar spectra and their different properties. It contains much information about stars which is hard to find or inaccessible to most people.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4166 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2010 edition (26 Oct 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #765,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a true pocket sized edition which will fit easily into your pocket and can be retrieved with the minimum of fuss. Being well formatted there is no fumbling about turning the pages one way and then another, everything is laid out to enable the observer to quickly identify their target and gain the necessary information. I have already used this book a couple of times while out doing some binocular observing and it is very easy to use in the field. This book is for the observer who is not content to look at the pretty colours that some stars exhibit but also wishes to know luminosity, temperature, distance etc. Another plus is that most of us are blighted with light pollution with one sort or another; well this little book can be used with ease from the suburbs of a large city like London, all the stars used in the book are naked eye objects, so you don't even need a telescope to enjoy the science behind the stars. This is a useful collection to any astronomer's library packed with useful information without any mathematics involved (there are many books out there for the more mathematically inclined). I understand that Mr Martin did his entire data gathering from his back garden in the east end of London over many years, which for me, is pretty impressive stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy for research 14 Jan 2010
It is loaded with useful empirical information to help the student/researcher, as well as the keen amateur astronomer. It is well organised structurally and it is completely lacking in useless waffle. Very easy to locate what you are looking for in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars 15 Feb 2010
This is a great reference book for the amateur astronomer who is learning about stars and the more experienced astronomer wishing to confirm their own results. Information is located with spectrograms and is clear and concise.
The Atlas is presented in simple language and never becomes too technical. There is a useful glossary which gives clear explanations and adds to the readers knowledge of the wider subject. Constellation maps are clear and make it very easy to locate the star under review.In general, the black and white spectrograms can be read, but an A4 size book would have made for clearer prints. An excellent book for anyone wishing to gain a wider understanding of the spectrososcopy of bright stars.A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars: A Pocket Field Guide (Astronomer's Pocket Field Guide)
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars 3 Feb 2010
The author has worked long and hard to produce this atlas and all credit to him. However, the quality of the printing and of the paper lets the author down. The paper is too thin allowing, for example, the lines around the periodic table to show through on to the first of the spectrograms. The diagrams on pages 181 to 187 are very nearly illegible because of the very poor grey scale printing, indeed lines on the spectrograms are very faint sometimes.
To take the author to task just a litttle bit, he states that "anyone should be able to use (the book) without assuming any prior knowledge of the subject." (page 3). However, there are a couple of jumps in the sequence of knowledge eg the axes of the spectrograms are not labelled and there is no explanation of what the labelling of the lines in the spectrograms means eg H alpha etc.
As a complete novice I would have liked at least a mention of digital cameras.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, but falls short 1 Jan 2011
By Joseph Torelli - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am just starting out in spectroscopy and thought that a reference of common bright stars and their spectra would be very helpful. Something I can compare to and see if my calibrations are close. This book does that. It would do a great job if the specrta illustrations were as good as the example on the front cover. The images in the book are very poor reproductions. I am sure the author took good spectra images, it's just that in the book the spectal lines are hard to make out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The complete press release 20 Jan 2012
By Thomas Eversberg - Published on
It seems that Amazon cheeks a bit with my above mentioned press release and fools potential customers. Here is my complete review:

Today, spectroscopic observations reach amateur astronomy. Therefore, it is highly appreciated that respective literature specifically for amateurs appear in the market. "A Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars" by Jack Martin promises as "Pocket Field Guide" an overview of the spectra of the brightest, and with the naked eye visible stars in the sky over Central Europe (the author lives in London). The book is aimed at the spectroscopic beginners . All spectra were recorded with a 30cm-Dobson and a Rainbow Optics transmission grating. The detector is a commercially available black and white film used in a camera. The recorded spectra were digitized and then "self-calibrated" via line identification. All spectra were recorded for almost the entire visible wavelength range at low spectral resolution. This is a nice performance and the spectroscopic beginners might be motivated to do the same. However, after the explanations of the recording process, the text portion unfortunately ends after page 15 and on the next 150 pages there are only spectra shown plus a one line data table.

Especially books live from the written word. This is especially true for topics that are not immediately obvious to the beginner and where careful text guiding is required. What do you see in the spectra? Why do they show the present behavious? What is special in the presentation? Questions, which are unfortunately not discussed. Spectra are no deep-sky photographs, where the aesthetics speaks for itself. Without interpretation, they contain no information. Phenomenological aspects are not explained and the attached glossary does not considerably increase the information content of the book. Although the author warns against the deterrent effect of mathematics and complicated text attempts, no alternative representation (mathematics does not play a role in this context) is given. Considering interested readers this is a missed opportunity. The fascination of spectroscopic observations and the nature behind it can not be transferred by bare graphics. Here an observer has collected his data and published them as a book - unfortunately with very low contrast images. Whether it legitimizes a price of around 32 , must be decided by the buyer. After all, the register is quite extensive - it refers mostly to the glossary.
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