© 2007

The Sky is Your Laboratory

Advanced Astronomy Projects for Amateurs


Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Pages 1-26
  3. Pages 27-74
  4. Pages 95-182
  5. Pages 183-203
  6. Pages 205-244
  7. Pages 245-260
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 261-299

About this book


For the experienced amateur astronomer who is wondering if there is something useful, valuable, and permanent that can be done with his or her observational skills, the answer is, "Yes, you can!" This is the book for the experienced amateur astronomer who is ready to take a new step in his or her astronomical journey. Unfortunately, there is no modern text that points curious amateur astronomers to the research possibilities that are open to them. At the 2006 meeting of the Society for Astronomical Sciences, quite a few participants agreed that the lack of such a text was a serious gap in the astronomical book market, and that this gap is impeding their efforts to encourage more amateur astronomers to get involved in research collaborations. This book will fill that gap, and enable more amateur astronomers to add research-type studies to their pursuit of the hobby.

Written by an astronomer who is well known amongst the amateur and professional community for the skill and quality of his work, this book describes a wide range of research areas where amateurs are gathering new scientific data that is utilized by professional astronomers. For each research area, the book provides a concise explanation of the purpose and value of the amateurs’ observations, a description of the equipment that is needed, specific observing procedures, complete data reduction instructions, and an explanation of how, and where, to submit results so that they will be available to the professional users.


Astrometry CCD Nation advanced astronomy projects amateur astronomy astronomy astronomy projects planetary studies research on the stars sky studies stars

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Coto de CazaUSA

About the authors

Mr. Buchheim received his first telescope when he was about 10 years old, and he has been interested in the stars ever since. He received his BS degree in Physics from Arizona State University and has completed a Program Management Course at Defense Systems Management College as well as UCLA Executive Program 88-1.  He has published a number of articles and is the inventor of the "Rotary-Acting Pilot Valve."  He currently lives and works in California.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"Amateur astronomers have a proud tradition of contributing worthwhile scientific observations, stretching right back to Victorian times. … If you have been in the hobby for a few years and now want to specialise, this book is for you. The author explains every chosen subject in reasonable depth and a lot of technical work has gone into the 297 pages. The coverage is accurate … ." (Martin Mobberley, BBC Sky at Night, November, 2007)

"Buchheim gives amateurs the essentials to do real science, not simply science projects. … The book is amply illustrated with diagrams, and the text’s tone is pleasantly conversational. … Although Buchheim set out to write this book for amateurs, it should also be of interest to students and teachers who wish to pursue real-science with equipment that may already be available on campus." (Jennifer Birriel, Sky & Telescope, December, 2007)

"Many amateur astronomers have equipment powerful enough to make significant contributions to research. … The present book outlines eighteen worthwhile projects for the amateur. … There is a clear and detailed description of the principles behind the evaluation of signal-to-noise and warnings against the many insidious errors which can creep in. … The book’s outstanding quality is the infectious enthusiasm of the writing. It is highly recommended." (Derek Jones, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)