Lectures 2 and 3: Astronomical measurements


Binney and Merrifield, 2.1-2.3, 2.5. We will not cover the material in 2.4 on gravitational
lensing but it's important and interesting.

Read over BM 3.1-3.5 although we will not cover this material in class; if you don't know this
material already you will have to know it for generals anyway

Optional reading:

Green, R. M. 1985, Spherical astronomy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Murray, C. A. 1983, Vectorial astrometry (Adam Hilger: Bristol)
Two clear and concise descriptions of astronomical coordinate systems, time measurement, and astrometry

Supplementary material:

Hipparcos - a comprehensive site with nice stereo views of the solar neighborhood, an mpeg tour through the Hyades cluster, and movies showing the motions of nearby stars---look at Barnard's star in particular

The standard reference on the Hipparcos catalog is Perryman et al. (1998)

For the latest round in the controversy about the distance to the Pleiades cluster see Soderblom et al. (2005)

SIM Planetquest home page

GAIA home page

A good description of the International celestial reference System (ICRS) is here.

A good reference on magnitude systems is here.

A comprehensive description of the exact definitions of timescales, coordinate systems, etc. is given in
United States Naval Observatory Circular No. 179