Astronomical Optics

Hardcover | April 13, 1992

byDaniel J. SchroederEditorDaniel J. Schroeder

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This book provides a unified treatment of the characteristics of telescopes of all types, both those whose performance is set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere, and those diffraction-limited telescopes designed for observations from above the atmosphere. The emphasis throughout is on basic principles, such as Fermat's principle, and their application to optical systems specifically designed to image distant celestial sources.
The book also contains thorough discussions of the principles underlying all spectroscopic instrumentation, with special emphasis on grating instruments used with telescopes. An introduction to adaptive optics provides the needed background for further inquiry into this rapidly developing area.


  • Geometrical aberration theory based on Fermat's principle
  • Diffraction theory and transfer function approach to near-perfect telescopes
  • Thorough discussion of 2-mirror telescopes, including misalignments
  • Basic principles of spectrometry; grating and echelle instruments
  • Schmidt and other catadioptric telescopes
  • Principles of adaptive optics
  • Over 220 figures and nearly 90 summary tables

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From Our Editors

This exceptional text is a vastly important work in the fields of optics, astronomy and cosmology to name just a few. Astronomical Optics – Second Edition looks at the characteristics of all types of telescopes in a comprehensive and unified manner. Pieces with performance set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere...

From the Publisher

This book provides a unified treatment of the characteristics of telescopes of all types, both those whose performance is set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere, and those diffraction-limited telescopes designed for observations from above the atmosphere. The emphasis throughout is on basic principles, such as ...

From the Jacket

This book provides a unified treatment of the characteristics of telescopes of all types, including telescopes whose performance is set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere, and those diffraction-limited telescopes designed for observations from above the atmosphere. The emphasis throughout is on basic principles...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:478 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:April 13, 1992Publisher:Academic PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0126298106

ISBN - 13:9780126298109

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Preliminaries: Definitions and Paraxial Optics. Fermat's Principle: An Introduction. Introduction to Aberrations. Fermat's Principle and Aberrations. Reflecting Telescopes. Schmidt Telescopes and Cameras. Catadioptric Telescopes and Cameras. Auxiliary Optics for Telescopes. Diffraction Theory and Aberrations. Transfer Functions: Hubble Space Telescope. Spectrometry: Definitions and Basic Principles. Dispersing Elements and Systems. Grating Aberrations: Concave Grating Spectrometers. Adaptive Optics: An Introduction. Detectors, Signal-to-Noise, and Detection Limits. Large Mirrors and Telescope Arrays. Table of Symbols. Index.

From Our Editors

This exceptional text is a vastly important work in the fields of optics, astronomy and cosmology to name just a few. Astronomical Optics – Second Edition looks at the characteristics of all types of telescopes in a comprehensive and unified manner. Pieces with performance set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere as well as diffraction limited telescopes designed for observations from above the atmosphere are closely studied. Daniel J. Schroeder has included more than 220 figures and 80 summary tables to further illustrate his important work. Sections in the book include Fermat’s Principle and Aberrations, Reflecting Telescopes, Detectors, Signal to Noise and Detection Limits.