© 2020

An Introduction to Observational Astrophysics


Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 1-7
  3. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 9-22
  4. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 23-43
  5. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 45-51
  6. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 53-61
  7. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 63-74
  8. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 75-101
  9. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 103-133
  10. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 135-144
  11. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 145-159
  12. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 161-167
  13. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 169-181
  14. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 183-196
  15. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 197-204
  16. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 205-216
  17. Mark Gallaway
    Pages 217-221
  18. Back Matter
    Pages 223-236

About this book


The observational component of astronomy is an exciting and vital part of any astrophysics degree. With the advent of low-cost astronomical cameras and remote and robotic operation, more students than ever have the opportunity to observe and perform observatory research. 

This updated and fully corrected textbook provides a comprehensive overview of practical observing techniques for undergraduate astrophysics courses. The chapters introduce students to the basics of the field before delving into telescope types, the nature and operation of the astronomical camera, imaging techniques and reduction, photometry and spectrography, and solar and radio observations.

The second edition covers the latest research on calibrating the telescope-camera-observatory system. It contains revised information on all available astronomy equipment, including filters, webcams, sensors, and telescope designs. Also included is an entirely new chapter on exoplanet transit measurements. The textbook’s practical approach will guide readers from basic first-year techniques to those required for a final-year project.


Astrometry Introduction CCD Operation and Calibration College Astrophysics Observing Projects Filters Introduction Guide for College Astrophysics Imaging Introduction Instrumentation for Observational Astrophysics Photometry Introduction Small Telescope Science Spectrography Introduction

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HockleyUK

About the authors

Dr. Mark Gallaway holds an undergraduate honors degree in Physical Science from the Open University and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire, UK (one of the largest astrophysics research groups in the UK). He has taught observational astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory (the largest such observatory in the UK and one of the largest robotic observatories in Europe) for three years, continuing to do so after he became the Observatory Manager in 2011.

During his current tenure Dr. Gallaway has overseen both a large increase in student numbers and a refocusing of the observatory to one of the UK’s leading small telescope research facilities. He is currently the PI of the Bayfordbury Supernova Search program, the Bayfordbury SuperWasp CV (Cataclysmic Variable) Follow-up program and the Bayfordbury NEO (Near Earth Object) Search. Dr. Gallaway is also a lead member of the M-Dwarf transit survey.

He regularly appears on the BBC and other UK national broadcasters both as an expert. Furthermore, Dr. Gallaway has consulted on a number of general science programs in including the BBC documentary  “How Satellites Rule Our Lives” and the series “How dangerous is….?”

Bibliographic information