• Pierre Léna
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


An observer only perceives the three dimensions of space projected on the celestial sphere. The received intensity is the integral of the energy locally emitted into the line of sight. Decoding the measured information to deduce the local conditions is an inversion process which is always delicate.


Spatial Frequency Angular Resolution Modulation Transfer Function Temporal Coherence Kind Permission 
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Theory of Image Formation

  1. Born, M., Wolf, E. (1980): Principles of Optics, 6th ed. ( Pergamon, Oxford ). A fundamental reference work, giving the complete theory of diffraction and the basis principles of some optical instruments.Google Scholar
  2. Bruhat, G., Kastler, A. (1954): Optique ( Masson, Paris )Google Scholar
  3. Harburn, G., Taylor, C.A., Welberry, T.R. (1979): Atlas of Optical Transforms (Bell, London). Interesting visual illustrations of Fourier transforms.Google Scholar
  4. Harvey, A.F. (1970): Coherent Light (Wiley, New York)Google Scholar
  5. Mertz, L. (1965): Transformations in Optics ( Wiley, New York). Original treatment, often directly concerned with astronomy.Google Scholar
  6. Roddier, F. (1988): “Interferometric imaging in astronomy.” Phys. Rep. In pressGoogle Scholar


  1. Burbidge, G., Hewitt, A. (eds.) (1981): Telescopes for the 1980s ( Annual Reviews, Palo Alto, CA). Reference work for a series of large instruments (Very Large Array, Space Telescope, Multi Mirror Telescope… ).Google Scholar
  2. Danjon, A., Couder, A. (1983): Lunettes et Télescopes ( Blanchard, Paris). Reissue of a classic book, confined to the visible.Google Scholar
  3. Fichtel, C.E., Trombka, J.I. (1981): Gamma Ray Astrophysics, NASA Special Publication 453 ( NASA, Washington DC ). A handbook of gamma-ray astronomy.Google Scholar
  4. Hiltner, W. (ed.) (1962): Stars and Stellar Systems ( University of Chicago Press, Chicago ). Now somewhat dated, but gives much information about classical problems in the visible and radio range.Google Scholar
  5. King, H.C. (1979): The History of the Telescope, 2nd ed. ( Dover, New York )Google Scholar

Future Telescopes: Ground-Based (Visible and Infrared)

  1. A series of conferences have been devoted to this subject since the 1970s, in particular:Google Scholar
  2. Barr, L. (ed.) (1986): Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes,SPIE 628 Google Scholar
  3. Burbidge, G., Barr, L. (eds.) (1982): Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes. SPIE 332 Google Scholar
  4. Hewitt, A. (ed.) (1980): Optical and Infrared Telescopes for the 1990s (Kitt Peak National Observatory)Google Scholar
  5. d’Odorico, S., Swings, J.P. (1986): ESO’s Very Large Telescope ( ESO, Garching )Google Scholar
  6. Reiz, A. (ed.) (1974): Conference on Research Programs for the New Large Telescopes ( ESO-SRC-CERN, Geneva )Google Scholar
  7. Swings, J.P., Kjär, K. (1983): European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO, Garching)Google Scholar
  8. Ulrich, M.H., Kjär, K. (eds.) (1981): Scientific Importance of High Angular Resolution at Infrared and Optical Wavelengths (ESO, Garching)Google Scholar
  9. Ulrich, M.H. (ed.) (1984): Very Large Telescopes: Their Instrumentation and Programs Intern. Astron. Union, Colloq. 79 (ESO, Garching)Google Scholar
  10. Ulrich, M.H. (ed.) (1988): Very Large Telescopes and Their Instrumentation ( ESO, Garching )Google Scholar

Future Telescopes: Space Missions (All Wavelengths)

  1. Suitable references are the Phase A reports and the feasibility studies produced by the European Space Agency and NASA for each proposed new mission, notably: Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), FIRST, XMM, etc.Google Scholar

Image Formation in a Turbulent Medium

  1. Roddier, F. (1981): “The Effects of Atmospheric Turbulence in Optical Astron-omy” in Progress in Optics, Vol. XIX, p. 281. This article treats very clearly the formalism and main results needed for studying atmospheric effects.Google Scholar
  2. Tatarski, V.I. (1961): Wave Propagation in a Turbulent Medium ( McGraw-Hill, New York )Google Scholar
  3. Woolf, N.J. (1982): “High resolution imaging from the ground.” ARAA 20, 367. Concepts and techniques central to the development of very large ground-based telescopes.Google Scholar

Treatment of Images

  1. Bracewell, R. (1979): “Computer image processing.” ARAA 17, 113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dainty, J.C., Shaw, R. (1974): Image Science (Academic, New York)Google Scholar
  3. Ford, W.K. (1979): “Digital imaging techniques.” ARAA 17, 198Google Scholar
  4. Henbest, N., Marten, M. (1983): The New Astronomy (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge). A beautifully illustrated book showing that images are ubiquitous in all branches of astronomy, whatever the wavelength.Google Scholar
  5. Pearson, T.J., Readhead, A.C.S. (1984): “Image formation by self-calibration in radio astronomy.” ARAA 22, 130. A good summary of image reconstitution methods which start from a partial knowledge of the image Fourier transform.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Léna
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Paris VII and Observatoire de ParisMeudonFrance

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