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Nebulae Star Clusters Galaxies
Nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies are outside our solar system. They belong to the 'deep sky' and lead the observer to great distances and at the same time the view goes far into the past. The light of the most distant galaxies took billions of years to reach us. No less fascinating is our home galaxy, the Milky Way, offering many bright nebulae and star clusters.
The book covers three important topics related to deep-sky objects: history, astrophysics, and observation. When beginners observe an object visually, not knowing anything about it, they will only perceive a faint spot of light - nothing really exciting. So, to get the right 'cosmic' feeling, the view should be enriched with stories about the object's discovery, distance, physical nature, or evolution. Supplied with this kind of information, deep-sky observing becomes a fascinating activity - braving the cold and darkness. Over time, advanced fields such as observation techniques or astrophotography come into play. The book informs the reader about all these topics and offers a comprehensive collection of interesting targets.
Dr Wolfgang Steinicke studied physics and mathematics in Germany. He specialised in General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory. Already in his youth, he observed the sky with telescopes. Later his interest focused on the New General Catalogue, which essentially rests upon observations by William and John Herschel. The research on non-stellar objects, their data and historical sources led to comprehensive catalogues, including a revision of the NGC and its supplements. In 2008, he received a PhD at Hamburg University with a thesis on nineteenth century deep-sky observations, published 2010 by Cambridge University Press as Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue. Steinicke is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, director of the History of Astronomy section of the German Vereinigung der Sternfreunde, committee member of the British Webb Deep Sky Society and works for international associations. He frequently organizes astronomy meetings and gives talks or courses all over the world. Steinicke is the author of nine books (German and English) and has published more than 300 scientific articles. Currently he writes a comprehensive book about William Herschel and his observations.