Infrared Astronomy – Seeing the Heat: from William Herschel to the Herschel Space Observatory

David L. Clements

November 21, 2014 by CRC Press
Reference - 290 Pages - 109 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781482237276 - CAT# K23161


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  • Explores the astronomical details behind the history and nature of our universe
  • Discusses the ground- and space-based telescopes that have made infrared astronomy what it is today, including the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS), Herschel Space Observatory, and Planck Surveyor
  • Covers the latest developments in instrumentation, including the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite
  • Looks forward to future telescopes and satellites, such as the Euclid mission and European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)
  • Provides videos and other material via the author’s website


Uncover the Secrets of the Universe Hidden at Wavelengths beyond Our Optical Gaze

William Herschel’s discovery of infrared light in 1800 led to the development of astronomy at wavelengths other than the optical. Infrared Astronomy – Seeing the Heat: from William Herschel to the Herschel Space Observatory explores the work in astronomy that relies on observations in the infrared. Author David L. Clements, a distinguished academic and science fiction writer, delves into how the universe works, from the planets in our own Solar System to the universe as a whole.

The book first presents the major telescopes in the world of observational infrared astronomy, explains how infrared light is detected through various kinds of telescopes, and describes practical problems that send infrared astronomers to the tops of mountains and their telescopes into orbit and beyond. Much of the book focuses on what infrared astronomers find in their observations. You’ll discover what infrared astronomy reveals about the planets, moons, and other bodies that constitute our Solar System; star formation and stellar evolution; the processes that shape galaxies; and dark energy and dark matter.

Infrared astronomy has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and has become essential in studying cosmology. Accessible to amateur astronomers, this book presents an overview of the science and technology associated with infrared astronomy. With color figures, it shows you how infrared astronomy provides insights into the workings of the universe that are unavailable at other wavelengths.