Astronomy has been my passion for some time, in particular designing an adaptor, many years ago, to attach an early digital camera (the size of a small brick) to a telescope to photograph the Moon. Hence my first book published, How to Photograph the Moon and Planets with your Digital Camera, encouraged by Sir Patrick Moore. Since then many such adaptors have become commercially available. My second book, The Rainbow Sky, has recently been published by Springer, which reflects my life-long involvement with spectroscopy/colour and the generosity of many who allowed inclusion of their pictures.
Rainbow Sky is not just for amateur astronomers it is also for anyone interested in nature and the vast cosmos! All is coloured but interpretation of the colours has to be made with care. Images captured by telescopes operating at wavelengths other than our narrow visual range must be changed to allow anything to be seen. So it is easy to believe that the colours are true instead of created for our benefit. The wonderful myriad objects throughout our world and universe could not be completely covered in a single book but I hope the 300 or so photographs included in The Rainbow Sky take the reader on a spectacular tour. The short cameos of theory and the brief history of light I hope will add to the understanding of some chapters - or just skip them to appreciate the sunsets, rainbows, brockenspectre, clouds, planets, moons, nebulae and distant objects the light of which emanates from almost the beginning of time.
Since my very early retirement from a science career my life has been filled with doing just those things that I wanted to do. Although not brilliant at too many of them I play badminton and golf, play the piano, indulge in microscopy and geology, photograph nature and a few other things.
An error by my headmaster a million years ago led me to a career of research chemistry (that I thoroughly enjoyed) instead of teaching. To fulfil my original ambition I taught science, geology and computing in a primary school for a while at the beginning of my retirement. There I witnessed the intense enthusiasm of kids for science, especially during my science club sessions, and I am well into writing about all those experiments that I created.
Tony Buick PhD CChem FRSC