From the Back Cover
Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is a complete guide for amateur astronomers who are looking for a new challenge beyond astrophotography. The book provides a brief overview of the history and development of the spectroscope, then a short introduction to the theory of stellar spectra, including details on the necessary reference spectra required for instrument testing and spectral comparison. The various types of spectroscopes available to the amateur are then described. Later sections cover all aspects of setting up and using various types of commercially available and home-built spectroscopes, starting with basic transmission gratings and going through more complex models, all the way to the sophisticated Littrow design. The final part of the text is about practical spectroscope design and construction. This book uniquely brings together a collection of observing, analyzing, and processing hints and tips that will allow the amateur to build skills in preparing scientifically acceptable spectra data. It covers all aspects of designing, constructing, testing, calibrating, and using a spectroscope and enables the average amateur astronomer to successfully build and use a homemade spectroscope for a fraction of the current commercial cost. As Professor Chris Kitchin said, “If optical spectroscopy had not been invented then fully 75 percent of all astronomical knowledge would be unknown today, and yet the subject itself re-ceives scant attention in astronomical texts.” This book answers that need. It is the practical spectroscopy book that amateur astronomers have been waiting for!
About the Author
Ken Harrison was born in Scotland where he trained as a mechanical engineer. He has been designing and building telescopes since the early 1960's and has built a series of spectroscopes for use on medium sized amateur telescopes. He was Section Director of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia, Astrophotographic Section for ten years and past President of the Society. Harrison's university thesis (and his first publication) was Design and Construction of the Isaac Newton 98-inch Telescope (Strathclyde University, 1970). Since then he has published many articles on optical design, including "Blink Comparison" (BAA Journal Vol87, p94) and "Method of Radially Supporting Large Mirrors" (Vol87, p154). He has made contributions to the Astronomical Society of Victoria Newsletter and was for three years the Editor of the 'N'Daba' newsletter of the Natal Centre, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.