© 2013

Faint Objects and How to Observe Them


  • Provides a unique and up to date collection of facts about the physical nature of distant faint objects

  • Greatly enhances the appreciation of the visual appearance of a faint object in the eyepiece

  • Has the potential to renew the interest of those who have observed well-known deep sky objects and want a greater challenge


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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. The Physical Nature of Faint Objects

  3. How to Observe Faint Objects

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Brian Cudnik
      Pages 133-146
    3. Brian Cudnik
      Pages 147-152
    4. Brian Cudnik
      Pages 153-181
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 203-241

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.

Faint Objects and How to Observe Them is for visual observers who want to "go deep" with their observing. It's a guide to some of the most distant, dim, and rarely observed objects in the sky, with background information on surveys and object lists -- some familiar and some not.

Typically, amateur astronomers begin by looking at the brighter objects, and work their way "deeper" as their experience and skills improve. Faint Objects is about the faintest objects we can see with an amateur's telescope -- their physical nature, why they appear so dim, and how to track them down.

By definition, these objects are hard to see! But moderate equipment (a decent telescope of at least 10-inch aperture) and the right techniques can reveal a surprising number of 'almost invisible' objects. The book provides basic tips on the type of telescope to use, how to record observations, and where to find lists and those all important finder charts.

Here is a "one-stop shop" for those who are interested in taking their observational pursuits to the next level, and who want to see the most distant parts of the universe accessible to backyard telescopes.


Caldwell objects Deep sky observing Faint fuzzies Faint objects night sky Visual astronomy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HoustonUSA

About the authors

Brian Cudnik has been an amateur astronomer for over 30 years and manages the Physics laboratories at Prairie View A& M University (a part of the A&M University of Texas). He has been the coordinator of the Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search section of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) since January 2000. Cudnik began at ALPO two months after it made the first confirmed visual observation of a meteoroid impact on the Moon during the Leonid storm of November 1999. Cudnik has an MSc and has published papers and posters on various astronomical subjects, both peer-reviewed and amateur. He has served as a board member of the Houston Astronomical Society, is presently an Associate member of the American Astrononmical Society, a member of the American Association of Variable Star and a regular contributor of observations to the International Occultation Timing Association. He teaches astronomy at the University of St. Thomas two evenings per week each semester.

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