Observational Astrophysics

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 30, 1995 - Science - 443 pages
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Combining a critical account of observational methods (telescopes and instrumentation) with a lucid description of the Universe, including stars, galaxies and cosmology, Smith provides a comprehensive introduction to the whole of modern astrophysics beyond the solar system. The first half describes the techniques used by astronomers to observe the Universe: optical telescopes and instruments are discussed in detail, but observations at all wavelengths are covered, from radio to gamma-rays. After a short interlude describing the appearance of the sky at all wavelengths, the role of positional astronomy is highlighted. In the second half, a clear description is given of the contents of the Universe, including accounts of stellar evolution and cosmological models. Fully illustrated throughout, with exercises given in each chapter, this textbook provides a thorough introduction to astrophysics for all physics undergraduates, and a valuable background for physics graduates turning to research in astronomy.
 

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Contents

Seeing through the fog
1
11 The nakedeye sky
3
12 Absorption in the Earths atmosphere
4
13 Bouguers method of allowing for absorption
7
14 Scintillation and seeing
10
15 Summary
11
Optical telescopes
13
22 Limiting magnitude
14
95 Summary
232
Stellar structure and evolution
236
102 The structure of mainsequence stars
242
103 From main sequence to stellar remnant
257
104 Endpoints of evolution
273
105 Evolution in binary systems
285
106 Summary
291
Properties of galaxies
295

23 Angular resolution
17
24 Principles of telescope optics
19
25 Telescope mountings
29
26 New telescope designs
36
27 Summary
44
Optical detectors and instruments
47
32 Photoelectric detection
52
33 Twodimensional electronic recording
57
34 Analysers
64
35 Photometric accuracy
84
36 Choosing an observing site
92
37 Summary
95
Radio telescopes and techniques
99
42 Filledaperture telescopes
107
43 Unfilledaperture telescopes
114
44 Very long baseline interferometry
120
45 Radio spectroscopy
121
46 Summary
123
Observing at other wavelengths
126
52 Ultraviolet observations
129
53 Xray and ϒray observations
130
54 Cosmic rays neutrinos and gravitational waves
137
55 Summary
143
Interlude pictures of the sky
146
62 Summary
162
Coordinates and time
163
72 Coordinate systems
167
73 Time
172
planning an observing trip
174
75 Accuracies
176
76 Summary
179
Magnitude systems and stellar spectra
182
82 Stellar spectra
185
83 Summary
193
Properties of stars
195
92 Binary stars
199
93 Star clusters
211
94 Variable stars
217
112 Luminosity size and mass
304
113 Nonstellar contents of galaxies
311
114 Chemical composition and stellar populations
313
115 Peculiar galaxies and active galactic nuclei
315
116 Summary
324
Our Galaxy
327
122 Dust
332
123 Gas
334
125 Summary
343
The distribution of galaxies
346
132 Filaments and voids
351
133 Summary
354
The distance scale of the Universe
357
142 Geometrical arguments for nearby objects
358
143 The centre of the Galaxy
361
144 Distances to nearby galaxies
363
145 Beyond the help of Cepheids
368
146 Summary
371
The Universe
374
152 Simple models of the expansion
377
153 Observational constraints
385
154 Summary
394
Postlude
397
Encore A summary of the Universe
398
A12 The hidden sky the growth of modern astronomy
400
A13 Contents of the Universe
401
Solutions to selected exercises
405
General bibliography
409
A32 Textbooks
410
A33 Reference books
411
A34 Practical books
412
A35 Problems
414
A36 The solar system
415
Further reading arranged by chapter
416
Acknowledgements
428
Index
431
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