An Introduction to Scientific Image Data Analysis

  • Gerald R. Hubbell
Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)


The three pillars of astronomical measurement—astrometry, photometry, and spectroscopy—form the foundation for all the science done by amateur and professional astronomers from the earliest times until today. Astrometry was first, and the positions of the stars and planets were first to catch the earliest observers’ attention. Photometry came soon after, when Hipparchos created the first photometric measurement system based on visual estimates of brightness. Spectroscopy came later when chemical elements were discovered, and the connection between the Earth and the stars became evident through use of the first spectroscope invented by Fraunhofer, which showed the similarities between the patterns of spreading light from stars and from earthly sources. These three topics are the basis of all astronomical science and are discussed in a practical manner in this chapter. Planetary and lunar topography for amateurs is a recent field of study, and great strides have been made in the tools available for measuring these features. A basic introduction to image feature analysis is also presented to familiarize the amateur with the terminology and the concepts used in analyzing charge-coupled device (CCD) data.


Zenith Angle Lunar Surface Comparison Star Photometric Measurement Minor Planet 
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Further Reading

  1. Arditti D (2008) Setting-up a small observatory. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Berry R, Burnell J (2005) The handbook of astronomical image processing. Willmann-Bell, RichmondGoogle Scholar
  3. Buchheim R (2007) The sky is your laboratory. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Byrne CJ (2005) Lunar orbiter photographic atlas of the near side of the Moon. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Chromey FR (2010) To measure the sky. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  6. Dieck RH (2007) Measurement Uncertainty. The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, Research Triangle ParkGoogle Scholar
  7. Dymock R (2010) Asteroids and dwarf planets and how to observe them. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  8. Harrison KM (2011) Astronomical spectroscopy for amateurs. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  9. Henden AA, Kaitchuck RH (1990) Astronomical photometry. Willmann-Bell, RichmondGoogle Scholar
  10. Howell SB (2006) Handbook of CCD astronomy. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  11. Shirao M, Wood CA (2010) The Kaguya lunar atlas. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Smith GH, Ceragioli R, Berry R (2012) Telescopes, eyepieces and astrographs. Willmann-BellGoogle Scholar
  13. Warner BD (2006) A practical guide to lightcurve photometry and analysis. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  14. Warner BD (2010) The MPO user’s guide. BDW Publishing, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald R. Hubbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Locust GroveUSA

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