Library Resources

The library is a list of resources that are usually not found on the internet. It is a compendium of books and magazine articles that the amateur might consider including in his or her library for reference purposes. If you know of any resources that you think would be useful to the amateur astrospectroscopist and is not listed, please send the information to the FAAS Librarian at [Initials of the submitter follow each book selection.]

Books - Current

The Analysis of Starlight - One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomical Spectroscopy,
Hearnshaw,J.B.: 1986, Cambridge University Press. An historical treatment of astronomical spectroscopy. Very well documented and illustrated. Provides an excellent base for general understanding of the science. [bdm]

Astronomical Observations - an optical perspective,
Walker, G.: 1987, CUP. (ISBN 0 521 32587 0) Chap #5 - Spectrographs (28 pages); A practical overview of professional applications with prism, grism, grating, fibre-optic feeds, slit 'image slicers' etc that the amateur should find enlightening. The whole book (345pages) is a well illustrated and practical guide to astronomical instrumentation including detectors. [mg]

Observerís Handbook,
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, RASC, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (published annually) - Contains the 300+ brightest stars with some spectroscopic information. [bdm]

Philip's Color Star Atlas - Epoch 2000,
Cox, John: 1991, George Philip Limited. An inexpensive addition to the observers library. All stars are illustrated in the color of the type of star it is (ex.: O - White, ... G - Yellow, ... M - Red). You can therefore select a type of star directly from the chart to observe without hunting through a star table. The only drawback is red observing lights cannot be used - very dim white is recommended for reading the charts. [bdm]

Observer's Guide to Astronomy vol#2,
Martinez, Patrick , Ed.: 1994, CUP. (ISBN 0521 45265 1) Chap #18 (50 pages) - Spectroscopy; a concise and practical guide for amateur instrumentation including construction of slits, slit guidance techniques and complete spectrograph plus some resultant spectra. [mg]

Optical Astronomical Spectroscopy,
Kitchen, Chris: 1995, Institute of Physics Pub - Bristol + Philadelphia. (ISBN 0 7503 0345 X) Covers the full 'spectrum' from atomic physics (that create spectra) to instrumentation (mainly professional) and some practical results and projects for the amateur spectrograph. Some useful tables and biography (272 pages). [mg]

Kaler, James A.: 1992, Scientific American Library. A very good review of astronomical spectroscopy for the beginner as well as advanced observer. There is very little math here, so the novice can read and understand most of the material. It is also very well and colorfully illustrated. Excellent reference source. [bdm]

Stars and Their Spectra - An Introduction to the Spectral Sequence,
Kaler, James A.: 1989, Cambridge University Press. Probably the best book on the topic. It covers every topic of study and does so in an understandable way. An excellent resource. A bit more technical than the preceding reference. [bdm]

Starlist 2000,
Dibon-Smith, Richard: 1992, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY. One of the most accessible lists of 2400+ stellar objects available to the amateur which contains spectroscopic designations as well as some notes. [bdm]

An Atlas of Objective-Prism Spectra, 1974
A Second Atlas of Objective-Prism Spectra , 1984
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Two compendium of comparison objective prism spectra. Part of the Michigan Spectral Catalogue Project. A very wide assortment of stars including many peculiar stars. Especially useful to the amateur doing objective prism work (... and, at unbelievably inexpensive prices.) Order Form [bdm]

Books - Antiquarian & Out of Print

Astronomical Spectroscopy,
Thackeray, A.D.: 1961, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London.
A useful guide with the minimum of mathematics, useful tables and an extensive biography and glossary of terms. [mg]

Spectrum Analysis,
Schellen, H.: 1872, Longman Green & Co., London.
Profusely illustrated in colour and mono it recounts the (then) contemporary work and rivalry of the pioneering astrospectroscopists like Huggins, Angstom, Young, Secchi, Lockyer and others and their exploration the sun, planetary atmospheres, comets and stars and nebulae. A riveting read and collectors' item ! [mg]

Spectrum Analysis - Six Lectures,
Roscoe, Henry E.: 1885, Macmillan and Co., London.
A treatise of the science up to that period as applied to astronomy. A good bit of information may be used by the amateur for observing techniques, instrument construction as well as historical context. [bdm]

Studies in Spectrum Analysis,
Lockyer, Norman J.: 1878, D. Appleton & Co., New York.
A look at the physics of spectroscopy from one of the early astronomers in the field. Also has a chapter on what elements are found in the Sun (pre-Helium). [bdm]

Magazine Articles

Cosmic Rainbows: The Revival of Amateur Spectroscopy
- by Maurice Gavin
Sky & Telescope Magazine - August, 1999
It has never been easier to explore the fascinating world of astronomical spectroscopy with backyard telescopes. CCD and amateur astrospectroscopy.

Amateur Spectroscopy - by Maurice Gavin
Journal of BAA vol 108, #3 - June 1998
October 1997 presidential address with a historical overview to current prospects including both stellar and solar work and instrumentation.

Observing the Spectral Winter G - by Barry Malpas
The Practical Observer Magazine - Vol. 7 Issue 4 - 1997
An observing project for the beginning astro-spectroscopist for which you can receive a certificate from the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey when completed.

The Rainbow Optics Star Spectroscope - by Barry Malpas
The Practical Observer Magazine - Vol. 7 Issue 2 - 1996
A review of the only reasonably priced diffraction grating spectroscope available to the amateur astronomer along with an overview of spectroscopy.

CCD Spectroscopy - by Maurice Gavin
CCD Astronomy Magazine - Vol. 2 No.4 - 1995
A very good article incorporating a CCD camera with a spectroscope. There are several spectra, illustrations and techniques here.

An Objective Prism Spectrograph - by Barry Malpas
The Practical Observer Magazine - Vol. 6 Issue 3 - 1995
The construction of an objective prism spectroscope for use during solar eclipses and for stellar observations.

Cepheid Variables: A Spectroscopic Study
- by Blake W. Thomas (Moriarty H.S.)
IAPPP Journal Communication No. 45 - Nov. 1991
(International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry)
The First Annual IAPPP Special Award in Astronomy. The construction and application of a spectrograph for observing [three] Cepheid Variable stars as their spectra range between G2 and F4.