Offering a series of well-defined problems supplemented by solutions, Exercises in Practical Astronomy: Using Photographs presents meaningful practical work in elementary astronomy and astrophysics. The book provides authentic astronomical photographs of very high quality on which different types of objects can be studied with equipment as simple as rulers and protractors. In addition to photographs and a set of exercises that cover 12 topics, the coverage includes ample hints and worked solutions that are designed to enable students to work independently. SI units are used for physical data and in conversions of astronomical quantities. This book is one of the few to use real rather than idealized or simplified data in the problems.
Table of Contents
The Sun: Rotation of the sun. Sun's period of rotation. Area of a sunspot. Minor planets or asteroids: Identification of belt asteroids. Distances of belt asteroids. Halley's Comet: Direction and length of tail. Motion in the plane of the sky. Disconnection event in ion tail. The Milky Way: Photographic stellar photometry. Star numbers and magnitudes. Variation of star densities with galactic latitude. Stars in motion: Proper motion. Radial velocity. Open star clusters: The Pleiades. Distance and age of a star cluster. Globular star clusters: Tidal radius of a globular cluster. Mass of the cluster. Interstellar extinction: The extinction or reddening law. Grain density in an interstellar dust cloud. A supernova and supernova remnants: Light curve of SN 1987A. Luminosity of SN 1987A. Expansion and distance of the Crab nebula. Dimensions and age of the Vela supernova remnant. Types of galaxies: Classification of galaxies. Classification of members of the Virgo cluster. Nearby galaxies: Mass of the Andromeda galaxy. The system of the Magellanic Clouds. Mass of the small Magellanic Cloud. Clusters of galaxies: Types of clusters. Distance of a cluster of galaxies. Dimensions and of a cluster. Mass of a cluster by the virial theorem. Average mass of a cluster member. Appendices. Index.
"This book will undoubtedly prove to be an admirable adjunct to class tuition which is normally greatly restricted in scope as practical work in astronomy at elementary and intermediate level presents difficulty for teachers."
-Spaceflight, February 1991
"This book fills a need in astronomy for more advanced resources using real data and it will appeal to teachers as well as students."
"I don't hesitate to recommend the book …"
-Darrel Hoff, Sky and Telescope, September 1991
"The book is a pleasure to read … the book is strongly recommended as a text to accompany introductory astronomy courses …"
-D.K. Aitken, Australian & New Zealand Physicist, vol. 28, no. 6, June 1991
"… attractively presented … will be enjoyed by sixth-formers, students at college, and the amateur astronomer."
-J. Br. Astron. Assoc., 101, 3, 1991