© 2005

Double and Multiple Stars and How to Observe Them

  • In two parts: (i) a comprehensive review of binary and multiple star systems, and (ii) observing and recording techniques for amateurs

  • The very latest detailed theories and descriptions of multiple systems

  • How to observe visual doubles, binary and multiple stars using a variety of techniques


Part of the Astronomers’ Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. All About Double and Multiple Stars

  3. Observing Double and Multiple Stars

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 91-131

About this book


ASTRONOMERS’ OBSERVING GUIDES provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observing techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments.


Double and Multiple stars are among the most fascinating astronomical objects. They range from ‘optical binaries’ that can be easily observed with a modest telescope, to distant and complex multiple systems that challenge even professional observers.

The first part of Jim Mullaney’s book provides a comprehensive review of the different classes of double and multiple systems, along with a look at the astrophysics of these objects. This is followed by a detailed guide for amateur astronomers, describing how to observe them – using a variety of different techniques – and outlining how to record the observations.

In one book, here is all you need to observe double and multiple stars, and to understand the systems you are looking at.


Evolution astrophysics deep-sky observing techniques star stars

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular SciencePittsburgh
  2. 2.University of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny ObservatoryPittsburgh

Bibliographic information


James Mullaney's book Double and Multiple Stars and How to Observe Them exceeds what anyone has done with this topic before--by a whole qualitative level or two. Mullaney is one of the world's most experienced observers of double stars and "deep-sky objects." His writing is always clear, accurate and enthusiastic and this book is no exception. Double and Multiple Stars, along with Mullaney's other writings on the topic, may end up almost singlehandedly winning over a new generation of observers to the joy of double-star observing.
—Fred Schaaf


...I can recommend Double and Multiple Stars and How to Observe Them to those who delight in seeing close points of light and those who can imagine the huge variety of suns they represent.

Leif J. Robinson, in Sky & Telescope, October 2006