© 2017

Optical, Infrared and Radio Astronomy

From Techniques to Observation


  • Serves as a comprehensive reference on instrumentation, observation planning and execution, and data reduction in optical, infrared, and radio astronomy

  • Approaches optical, infrared, and radio astronomy as distinct research areas

  • Presents the state of the art in advanced observational techniques

  • Bridges the gap between specialized books and practical texts


Part of the UNITEXT for Physics book series (UNITEXTPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. The Basics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 3-17
  3. Optical Astronomy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 33-44
    3. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 45-63
    4. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 65-73
    5. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 75-89
    6. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 91-105
  4. The Low Energy Side of Classical Astronomy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 109-118
  5. Instruments Acting Together: Interferometry

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 139-145
    3. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 147-151
  6. Observing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 155-164
    3. Rosa Poggiani
      Pages 165-176

About this book


This textbook presents the established sciences of optical, infrared, and radio astronomy as distinct research areas, focusing on the science targets and the constraints that they place on instrumentation in the different domains. It aims to bridge the gap between specialized books and practical texts, presenting the state of the art in different techniques. 

For each type of astronomy, the discussion proceeds from the orders of magnitude for observable quantities that drive the building of instrumentation and the development of advanced techniques. The specific telescopes and detectors are then presented, together with the techniques used to measure fluxes and spectra. 

Finally, the instruments and their limits are discussed to assist readers in choice of setup, planning and execution of observations, and data reduction.

The volume also includes worked examples and problem sets to improve student understanding; tables and figures in chapters su

mmarize the state of the art of instrumentation and techniques.


Observational astronomy textbook Optical astronomy textbook Radio astronomy textbook Infrared astronomy textbook Ground-based telescopes Space-based telescopes Radiotelescopes textbook Interferometry textbook Optical photometry Optical spectroscopy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

About the authors

Rosa Poggiani graduated in Physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1988. Her work has focused especially on the gravitational acceleration of antimatter probes, the detection of gravitational waves with interferometers, and the optical properties of astrophysical compact objects. She has made significant contributions to the physics of low-energy antimatter, suspension systems, high-vacuum compatibility and the cryogenic design of interferometric gravitational wave detectors, the optical spectroscopy of novae and the microvariability of blazars. Dr. Poggiani has been an investigator in a number of research projects and has been involved in various international collaborations. She was Coordinator of Control and DAQ for the P118T experiment on antiproton deceleration and trapping at CERN. She has been a member of the Virgo Collaboration for the interferometric detection of gravitational waves since 1993, and was the Co

ordinator of the last stage of the suspensions and of the vacuum compatibility of the suspension components. The LIGO and Virgo members were awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize In Fundamental Physics and the 2016 Gruber Cosmology Prize for the detection of gravitational waves.

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