Astrometry for Astrophysics: Methods, Models and Applications

William F van Altena, Editor

astrometry cover
Astrometry for Astrophysics: Methods, Models and Applications
is intended to fill a serious gap in texts available to advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students and researchers in related fields to introduce them to the science of Astrometry.  Several excellent books have been written in recent years that deal with the subject, however they are written at a level suitable for a researcher in Astrometry. What has been lacking to date is an introductory text designed to attract students to the field that might not otherwise be prepared to undertake the study of Astrometry at an advanced level. Astrometry for Astrophysics gives advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students an introduction to the field of Astrometry with examples of current applications to a variety of currently interesting astronomical topics.  It is hoped that the students’ exposure at an introductory level will lead to more advanced study of this exciting field.  For researchers in other fields, the goal is to provide sufficient background to understand the opportunities and limitations of Astrometry.

Organization of the book

Astrometry for Astrophysics is intended for a one-semester introductory course that will hopefully lead to further study by students or serve as a primer to the field for researchers in related astronomical fields.  To accomplish the above goals, the book is divided into five parts.  Part one provides the impetus to study Astrometry by reviewing the opportunities and challenges of micro-arcsecond positions, parallaxes and proper motions that will be obtained by the new space astrometry missions as well as ground-based telescopes that are now yielding milli-arcsecond data for enormous numbers of objects.  Part two includes introductions to the use of vectors, the relativistic foundations of astrometry and the celestial mechanics of n-body systems, as well as celestial coordinate systems and positions.  Part three introduces the deleterious effects of observing through the atmosphere and methods developed to compensate or take advantage of those effects by using techniques such as adaptive optics and interferometric methods in the optical and radio parts of the spectum.  Part four provides introductions to selected topics in optics and detectors and then develops methods for analyzing the images formed by our telescopes and the relations necessary to project complex focal plane geometries onto the celestial sphere.  Finally, Part five highlights applications of astrometry to a variety of astronomical topics of current interest that is designed to stimulate students and researchers to further explore this exciting field. Astrometry for Astrophysics is the result of advice from many individuals in the worldwide astrometric community.  The 28 chapters were written by 28 coauthors from 15 different countries.

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·  Hardcover: 440 pages
·  Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 30, 2012)

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