This digest has two aims.
The first is to cover in depth, without being too technical, advances in our knowledge, equipment and techniques that I hope will be of interest to all amateur astronomers.
The second is to add to the content of the books recently published by Cambridge University Press and so keep them up fully up to date.
The author also writes a guide to each month’s northern hemisphere night sky. Just search for ‘Night Sky Jodrell’.
Recent Pages added to the Digest
Most recent: Homage to Isaac Newton. (Quite a pretty picture whose taking and processing was not trivial as is described in the article.)
Imaging the Perseus Double Cluster with a ‘one shot’ colour camera or DSLR.
A wide field imaging exercise – the Cygnus region.
Wide Field Imaging: stretching the output from Deep Sky Stacker, repairing distorted stars and enhancing the image.
The Sony A5000 APSC mirrorless camera – an astrophotography bargain?
What ISO to use for Astrophotography?
An example of using Deep Sky Stacker and IRIS to produce a wide field image.
Ian Morison FRAS is an astronomer and astrophysicist who served as the 35th Gresham Professor of Astronomy. Though a radio astronomer by profession, now in his 54th year at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester, he has been a keen amateur optical astronomer since making his first simple telescope with lenses given to him by his optician when 11 or 12. In 1990 he helped found the Macclesfield Astronomy Society of which he is now patron and he is a past president of the UK’s Society for Popular Astronomy, and now acting as its Instrument Advisor. He writes a regular ‘Telescope Topics’ column for ‘Popular Astronomy’ and has made many contributions to the ‘Sky at Night’ and ‘Astronomy Now’ magazines. His recent books are:
An Amateur’s Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens
Which aims to bridge the gap between books for beginners and specialized books about specific topics and which covers all aspects of the hobby.
A Journey Through the Universe : Gresham Lectures on Astronomy
A ‘clear and concise survey of what we know about the cosmos’ wrote Sir Martin Rees – updated in the January 2017 pages.
The Art of Astrophotography
Covers all aspects of astrophotography with the use of examples describing the equipment required (starting with just a digital camera and tripod), the best way to capture the images and then the ways in which they can be processed to give a first class final image – as that of M33, the frontispiece to this digest.
[The opening image is of the galaxy M33 in Triangulum. It was taken remotely using an ASA 8-inch Newtonian Astrograph located in Spain. The data acquisition and image processing used to achieve this image are described both in ‘An Amateurs Guide…’ and ‘The Art of Astrophotography’.]