- Hardcover: 364 pages
- Publisher: Willmann-Bell; 1st English ed edition (1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0943396441
- ISBN-13: 978-0943396446
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes: A Manual for Optical Evaluation and Adjustment 1st English ed Edition
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Many observers harbor misgivings about their telescope. The manufacturer may have guaranteed accuracy to one-quarter wavelength or as diffraction-limited but most telescope users have, at best, only a hazy idea of how to personally verifying such claims. Sure, there are ways to check the accuracy of individual components but for many they are hard to understand or require costly reference optics and other test equipment. Besides, telescope users are interested in the performance of the entire optical train, not just the main optical element. What is really needed is a test that can be used at the observing site, so that all the problems that impact on a telescope's performance can be diagnosed. Isn't there a simpler and more complete way than the complicated shop tests? Yes, the star test is such a method. It uses the entire working telescope. It isnot a poor substitute or a work-around that uses bits and pieces of the optical system. It is the oldest and most sensitive of the optical tests an inspection of the diffraction image itself. Star-test results apply to the complete imaging performance of the telescope. The star test is lightning-fast and requires only a good high-power eyepiece. It tests the telescope for precisely what it was meant to do. Bad or poorly-aligned instruments fail the star test unambiguously. The star test often allows you to correct the optical difficulty immediately in the field, when you might be frantic t
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If I was able to understand everything in this book I would have said "I love it"
Also the book is very well made physically using very high quality paper and excellent binding.
The organization of topics is a bit herky jerky at times too.
For content organization issues, mediocre explanations, and overwrought analogies I would rate this a 3 and barely that.
On the other hand, this info is just invaluable to an amateur telescope owner. The star test is so revealing and so highly useful to evaluating your scope. And the book is about more than just that. Lots of info beyond just the star test. About how that test works, why it is so revealing, what it reveals etc. etc. and etc. The underlying content sometimes takes a real effort on the reader's part to understand. But is so highly useful it is very much worth the effort. Don't know of another source that compares. The info content I would rate a solid 5.
So in the end I give it a 4 all things considered.
If you want to know more about basic telescope optics, then "Telescope Optics : Complete Manual for Amateur Astronomers by Harrie G. J. Rutten and Martin A. M. Van Venrooij" is a better book. Yet it is more theoretical and explanatory. So much of Suiter's book has info that is pertinent and useful to you as a telescope owner. I really think any amateur astronomer owes it to himself to own both. I would suggest the Rutten and Venrooij book be read first. Follow it up with Suiter's book.