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The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing.

The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing Richard Berry and James Burnell (Willmann-Bell, 2005). 712 pages. ISBN 0-943396-82-4. $99.95, cloth.

Because the second edition of this book, like the first, is bundled with the well-regarded image-processing software AIP4Win (now also updated), it's easy to understand why some people mistakenly think that the book is a user's manual for the program.

It's not! Rather, it's the finest book to date covering the entire gamut of digital astrophotography. It should be mandatory reading for those shooting digital pictures of the Moon, planets, or deep-sky objects regardless of what camera or software they use. And while it's certainly a book aimed at practitioners, The Handbook for Astronomical Image Processing is also for curious individuals who want an in-depth look at what's behind the stunning images being turned out by today's amateur astronomers--images that in many cases exceed the beauty and detail of the finest professional work done in the days of emulsion-based astrophotography.

Think of any cryptic term you've seen attached to a digital photograph, be it full-well capacity, wavelet filtering, or some alphabet-soup acronym, and you'll likely find a clearly written description in this book. Although there's no shortage of mathematical equations, in many cases you can bypass them and still understand the concepts more than well enough to use them to improve your imaging and image-processing techniques. Whether your interest is pretty pictures or scientific analysis, you'll find a wealth of useful information between the covers.

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Author:di Cicco, Dennis
Publication:Sky & Telescope
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2006
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