This book is intended for amateur astronomers who are readers of Sky & Telescope magazine or similar astronomy periodicals - or are at least at the same level of knowledge and enthusiasm. Supernovae represent the most violent stellar explosions in the universe. This is a unique guide to supernova facts, and it is also an observing/discovery guide, all in one package. Supernovae are often discovered by amateur astronomers, and the book describes the best strategies for discovering and observing them. Moreover, it contains detailed information about the probable physics of supernovae, a subject which even today is imperfectly understood.
Martin Mobberley has a BSc Honours degree in Electronic Engineering from Brunel University, and is a former British Astronomical Association President and Goodacre Medallist.
He is also the author of Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs (1998) and The New Amateur Astronomer (2004); and has contributed chapters to three other Springer Practical Astronomy Series Books. He wrote the children's book Space Navigator, and has published many papers in Astronomy Now, The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, The Astronomer, and Sky & Telescope.
From the reviews:
"Supernovae and How to Observe Them is the ideal book for amateur supernova hunters. . This is a book that is suitable for all practising amateur astronomers who would like to know more about observing supernovae and especially for those who would like to discover them. . It is thoroughly recommended." (Ron Arbour, BBC Sky at Night, September, 2007)
"If you like reading about and/or observing the universe's biggest blasts, you'll be interested in a book that just crossed my desk. Supernovae and How to Observe Them by Martin Mobberley is, as the title suggests, a dual purpose book. . If you've ever thought about hunting for supernovae, or if you just want to know more about them, this book is one you'll want to add to your reference shelf." (Michael Bakich, Astronomy Magazine, October, 2007)
Part 1. Supernovae facts and feats.- Supernova Physics - what they are.- Supernovae as a measure of the Universe.- Supernovae in History.- The Top 100 Supernovae.- Supernovae - a threat to life on Earth?.- Part 2. Observing and Discovering Supernovae.- Supernovae as visual variable stars.- Supernova photometry and light curves.- Amateur supernova hunting in the 21st Century.- The 40 Messier galaxies - images and locations.- The Caldwell galaxies - images and locations- The first 200 Supernovae (thumbnail mosaics).
Supernovae mark the deaths of massive stars or of white dwarfs in binary systems, and are unbelievably violent events. Even when they occur in galaxies millions of light years away they can be within the reach of amateur astronomers' telescopes.
More than 400 supernovae have already been discovered by amateurs.
Supernovae and How to Observe Them is a mine of information for all levels of amateur astronomer, from relative beginners to experienced observers. Whether you are interested in the supernova physics, observing supernovae and supernova remnants, measuring their spectra or even discovering new supernovae yourself, this book provides all the information you need.