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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent overview, 26 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Creating and Enhancing Digital Astro Images: A Guide for Practical Astronomers (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
A rather thin volume (140pp), with most illustrations in B&W, however it does give a decent overview of the subject. Whilst published in 2007, the material is at least 2 years older (and some 10 years older). The author seems to have taken on board the 'rule of popular science books' that every equation halves sales - as a result there are no real equations and very little 'hard' detail - in the chapter on Dark Frames, for example, we learn that the 'random noise' is 'mostly thermally induced' and that '(the noise) 'fades'(sic) by a factor for 2 for every 5 degrees C cooler' - plainly we are being left to make up our own formula here :-). Whilst it is mentioned (almost in passing) that Darks and Flats have to be created at the same temperature and exposure times as the images to be processed, the author then goes off on a pointless discussion of 'Master Darks' (and later, Master Flats) as if these had any validity beyond the current nights imaging session. One major annoyance is the Index, which is essentially useless. For example, 'noise' is not indexed at all (nor is anything 'thermal' or 'random'), whilst meaningless 'out of context' words such as 'gradient' (10 references) and 'mode' (6 refs) get 'pride of place'. Interestingly, 'moon' has 11 references and 'DSLR' 12 ! Talking of DSLR's, there seems to be no mention of 'RAW' mode, and, indeed, the author seems to take a rather cavalier approach to data preservation (or not) as he processes the image by skipping from one software package to another - under Image Handling you are recommended as a 'final issue' to store your images in FITS format, although we have to wait until the last page of the Appendix to learn how to do so (in that FITS 'plug ins' are available for Photoshop). All in all, a decent overview of the subject, although at a rather 'higher level' than I was hoping for.
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