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Deep-Sky Video Astronomy (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) Paperback – March 11, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0387876115 ISBN-10: 0387876111 Edition: 2009th

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Product Details

  • Series: Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series
  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2009 edition (March 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387876111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387876115
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,782,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews: "This is a very practical book from which even the most experienced video astronomers will be able to learn and gain new ideas for their deep-sky videography. … An extensive gallery of beautiful images obtained with the basic Mintron-derived camera will give the reader inspiration and confidence to try it for themselves. This is a book that should have its place in the library of every amateur astronomer who has an interest in real-time viewing and imaging with video." (Steve Wainwright, Astronomy Now, November, 2009) “The enthusiasm and competence of the authors is obvious on every page and as an ‘how to do it’ book it is exemplary. … the authors deal exclusively with the use of CCTV and video cameras to obtain images of deep-sky objects. … Their selection of both monochrome and colour examples of images … shows with aplomb just what can be obtained, and the images compare favourably with those obtained with conventional CCD cameras with cooling and long integration times. … thoroughly recommend this book.” (E. Norman Walker, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1213), December, 2009) “The main tenet of this book is that it is possible to produce outstanding images of deep sky objects using CCD video cameras. … The authors cram in a huge amount of technical detail covering every aspect of imaging with these cameras. The book is profusely illustrated, with diagrams and images on most pages. The book is written in a free-flowing narrative style … . recommended for those interested in starting video imaging, and experienced imagers should find much of interest in the detail.” (Andrew Elliott, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 120 (1), 2010)

From the Back Cover

Need a concise guide to using modern video cameras for deep-sky viewing and imaging with the kinds of modest telescopes available commercially to amateur astronomers? Here it is. In this book you are given the basics of this highly efficient technology, which is already beginning to compete with astronomical cooled-chip CCD cameras in quality and ease of use. Much of the book focuses on the practical side of creating beautiful and detailed astronomical portraits using image-stacking software and picture enhancement tools. There are sections on how to create color images using a black-and-white camera. There are also reviews of accessories, including focal reducers, Barlow lenses, and optical filters, that can be used to achieve a particular result. Finally, step-by-step examples will show you how to achieve your own kind of magic – amazing deep-sky video portraits! So turn your passion for the beauty of the night sky into a hobby that can show off your skills to their greatest advantage. You’ll never look at the stars the same way again!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Barry on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Massey and Quirk's (M&Q) latest book is largely a prescriptive guide to operating a monochrome frame-accumulation video camera with a telescope. It tells the user what to do and when to do it. It describes the GSTAR-EX camera sold by Massey, and the well-known Registax program, and spends a lot of time in describing the steps the operator must go through to get results from the astrophoto session.

M&Q spend most time on the GSTAR-EX camera sold by Massey, with only occasional mention of other competing products (StellaCam, Mintron, Watec, Imaging Source) and no mention at all of the Mallincam Hyper. This is not a criticism; if you use one of these other devices you will still find the book useful.

Careful reading is needed to tease out equipment configuration which will work with a given telescope. This is one area where M&Q could have spent more time, as it represents the greatest cost to the isolated amateur trying to get things right. The writers are also exclusively PC-centric, but if you use Macs you may still find the broad steps applicable to the software you do use.

The gallery at the end of the book is spellbinding, and shows M&Q's consummate abilities at the telescope. Enviable indeed. The section on "photographs from light polluted skies" gives some idea of what can be achieved with the GSTAR from suburbia using moderate telescopes (8 - 10" Newtonians and SCTs, 4" ED refractors, etc).

My verdict - the book is a worthwhile addition to the amateur's library. It will not provide as much background theory as the amateur might wish for, but in its stated aim of introducing the amateur astronomer to video astronomy, it does a very good job.

Disclaimer:- the author does not have a GSTAR-EX nor is affiliated with M&Q.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hall on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The other reviewer hits the nail on the head. With only about 13 pages devoted to describing the various video cameras available this book leaves you with more questions than answers about camera selection. I tracked down websites for the various cameras mentioned and I was unable to make a sensible comparison of their features. The cameras mentioned range from $275 to $800 and they clearly feel this is the best bang-for-the-buck. There is a passing mention of webcams, but little more. There is no mention at all of Celestron's Celestron NexImage Solar System Imager.

That said, the bulk of the book is an in-depth step-by-step guide to manipulating the raw video you have captured and explains how to get the best possible images. The book is also filled with great photos, each listed with the telescope specs listed, but not always the camera model. There's also a nice little section on using a video camera for guiding.

If I ever buy a video camera this book will be invaluable; but I'll have to find another source of information to guide my camera selection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Schap on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After jumping to the web to read about the products in this book, only to find they have been discontinued almost a decade ago, then hitting a paragraph stating that an advantage is "being able to record to your VCR" I came to the realization that I have been misled by the supposed publication date, probably a reprint or "conversion to Kindle" date. Although one can learn about some background fundamentals, you'll need to look elsewhere to find info on the latest hardware, software, & techniques.

Each chapter in the Kindle version starts with the books author's names, their locations, and the words "Without Abstract" making it appear that this is not the version in the print book.
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