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Spectral Atlas for Amateur Astronomers
A Guide to the Spectra of Astronomical Objects and Terrestrial Light Sources


Award Winner
  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107165908

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About the Authors
  • Featuring detailed commented spectral profiles of more than one hundred astronomical objects, in colour, this spectral guide documents most of the important and spectroscopically observable objects accessible using typical amateur equipment. It allows you to read and interpret the recorded spectra of the main stellar classes, as well as most of the steps from protostars through to the final stages of stellar evolution as planetary nebulae, white dwarfs or the different types of supernovae. It also presents integrated spectra of stellar clusters, galaxies and quasars, and the reference spectra of some terrestrial light sources, for calibration purposes. Whether used as the principal reference for comparing with your recorded spectra or for inspiring independent observing projects, this atlas provides a breathtaking view into our Universe's past. The atlas is accompanied and supplemented by Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers, which explains in detail the methods for recording, processing, analysing and interpreting your spectra.

    • Fills a gap in the astronomical literature, allowing readers to interpret and compare different recorded spectra, both within the book and to their own measured spectra
    • The labelled plates with spectral profiles are accompanied by object-related astrophysical backgrounds, appropriate classification systems and, in some cases, historically interesting details
    • The presentation of astronomical objects is supplemented by commented spectra of terrestrial and calibration light sources, for educational and practical purposes
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    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Spectroscopy is to astronomy what fingerprints are to forensic investigators. Walker has put together one of the most comprehensive references on the subject published to date … he has compiled an atlas of spectra from a variety of astronomical sources that can be used to classify almost any object observable with telescopes that are typically available to amateurs. This book nicely bridges the vast gap between what students will find in most textbooks and the references used by practitioners. Want to tell a white dwarf star from a red giant star? A nebula from a galaxy? Here's how! This richly illustrated atlas of spectra makes the identification process relatively easy. Moreover, the introduction to each chapter provides an accessible primer on the astrophysics behind the spectra. An extensive bibliography will lead the novice spectroscopist into as much detail as desired … This labor of love belongs on any serious amateur's desk - even professionals will find it quite useful.' T. D. Oswalt, Choice

    'Trypsteen and Walker's Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers does a thorough job of explaining the science of spectroscopy and should help interested amateurs with equipment choices and processing; the Spectral Atlas for Amateur Astronomers gives them everything else they'll need, namely, a variety of documents and sample spectra for popular targets. It brings together the spectra for the main stellar classes, as well as spectra from stars at various stages of development (from protostars all the way through the stellar life cycle to their transformation into planetary nebulae, supernovae, or white dwarfs). The atlas also includes documents and spectra for star clusters, extragalactic objects, and emission nebulae. Pair this book with Marc F. M. Trypsteen and Richard Walker's Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers and you'll have a comprehensive package on spectroscopy.' S. N. Johnson-Roehr, Sky & Telescope: The Essential Guide to Astronomy

    '… a very good atlas that students, from undergraduate to Ph.D., and instructors will find handy for a quick reference.' B. Ishak, Contemporary Physics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107165908
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 288 x 222 x 16 mm
    • weight: 1.07kg
    • contains: 211 colour illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Directory of plates
    2. Selection, processing and presentation of the spectra
    3. Terms, definitions and abbreviations
    4. Overview and characteristics of stellar spectral classes
    5. Spectral class O
    6. Spectral class B
    7. Spectral class A
    8. Spectral class F
    9. Spectral class G
    10. Spectral class K
    11. Spectral class M
    12. Spectral sequence on the AGB
    13. M(e) stars on the AGB
    14. Spectral class S on the AGB
    15. Carbon stars on the AGB
    16. Post AGB stars and white dwarf
    17. Wolf Rayet stars
    18. LBV stars
    19. Be stars
    20. Be shell stars
    21. PMS protostars
    22. Peculiar CP-stars
    23. Spectroscopic binaries
    24. Novae
    25. Supernovae
    26. Extragalactic objects
    27. Star clusters
    28. Emission nebulae
    29. Reflectance spectra of Solar System bodies
    30. Telluric molecular absorption
    31. The night sky spectrum
    32. The night sky spectrum
    33. Terrestrial and calibration light sources.

  • Author

    Richard Walker
    Richard Walker spent his career in civil engineering, planning large projects such as power plants, dams and tunnels. Now retired, in the last ten years he has focused increasingly on stellar astronomy and on the indispensable key to this topic - spectroscopy. He undertook a large observing project to record and document the spectra of the most important astronomical objects, and chose to share this gathered information for the benefit of other amateurs worldwide.


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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