Telescopes and Techniques (Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics)

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From the reviews of the third edition:

“Telescopes And Techniques is a book that would be helpful for every new telescope owner, and of interest to also more seasoned amateur astronomers, but it will be a real gem for students just starting to learn about observational astronomy. … Kitchin’s ‘Telescopes And Techniques’ bridges the gap between being a textbook of practical astronomy and a handbook of telescope maintenance and use. … a very informative and well structured book that will definitely be consulted even after having been read the first time.” (Kadri Tinn,, January, 2014)

From the Back Cover

Telescopes and Techniques has proved itself in its first two editions, having become probably one of the most widely used astronomy texts, both for amateur astronomers and astronomy and astrophysics undergraduates. Both earlier editions of the book were widely used for introductory practical astronomy courses in many universities.

In this Third Edition the author guides the reader through the mathematics, physics and practical techniques needed to use today’s telescopes (from the smaller models to the larger instruments installed in many colleges) and how to find objects in the sky. Most of the physics and engineering involved is described fully and requires little prior knowledge or experience.

Both visual and electronic imaging techniques are covered, together with an introduction to how data (measurements) should be processed and analyzed. A simple introduction to radio telescopes is also included. Brief coverage of the more advanced topics of photometry and spectroscopy are included, but mainly to enable the reader to see some of the developments possible from the basic observing techniques covered in the rest of the book.

For anyone intending to enter astronomy as a professional, an understanding of the physics is essential – and this newest version of Telescopes and Techniques is one of the best starting points!

About the Author

Chris Kitchin is Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Hertfordshire and has a lifelong interest in astronomical instrumentation, using telescopes of all sizes, studying the rapidly growing number of planets known to orbit other stars, and trying to communicate his own excitement at the recent explosion of discoveries about the universe. When not a hundred light years from Earth (at least in his imagination), Chris enjoys being taken for long country walks by his two border collies.

He is author of a vast number of scientific papers and sixteen books by various publishers, including Springer’s Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy, Solar Observing Techniques, Seeing Stars, A Photo Guide to the Constellations, Exoplanets, Galaxies in Turmoil, and of course the first two editions of Telescopes and Techniques, which sold in excess of 12,000 copies.

In its 3rd edition, this book is a guide to the mathematics, physics and practical techniques needed to use telescopes ranging in sophistication from small amateur models to the larger instruments installed at many colleges, and to observe objects in the sky.

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