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Astronomical Photometry

by Eugene F. Milone C. Sterken

This book will bring together experts in the field of astronomical photometry to discuss how their subfields provide the precision and accuracy in astronomical energy flux measurements that are needed to permit tests of astrophysical theories. Differential photometers and photometry, improvements in infrared precision, the improvements in precision and accuracy of CCD photometry, the absolute calibration of flux, the development of the Johnson UBVRI photometric system and other passband systems to measure and precisely classify specific types of stars and astrophysical quantities, and the current capabilities of spectrophotometry, and polarimetry to provide precise and accurate data, will all be discussed in this volume. The discussion of `differential' or `two-star' photometers will include those developed for planetary as well as stellar photometry and will range from the Princeton polarizing photometer through the pioneering work of Walraven to the differential photometers designed to measure the ashen light of Venus and to counter the effects of aurorae at high latitude sites; the last to be discussed will be the Rapid Alternate Detection System (RADS) developed at the University of Calgary in the 1980s.

Exploring Ancient Skies

by Eugene F. Milone A. F. Aveni David H. Kelley

Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers--events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Exploring Ancient Skies provides a comprehensive overview of the relationships between astronomy and other areas of human investigation. It will be useful as a reference for scholars and as a text for students in both astronomy and archaeology, and will be of compelling interest to readers who seek a broad understanding of our collective intellectual history.

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