Catchers of the Light Books


"This book is truly a magnum opus, a labour of love, and a great work of scholarship. It is authoritative, detailed, thorough, superbly illustrated, well referenced, and all-encompassing. There is no nook or cranny of the history of astronomical photography or its proponents that has not been investigated, noted, and embellished with a relevant image. It is worth every single cent of its price. It is an essential addition to every astronomy library. Anyone with even a vague interest in the development of astrophysics will need to have this book to hand; it is a vital and reliable starting place for any historical research into the last two centuries of astronomical endeavour." Professor David W. Hughes, 'Observatory' magazine, February 2015. Read Full Review Here:

Solar Astrophotography
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Catchers of the Light  >  III - Solar Astrophotography
III - Solar Astrophotography

Total Eclipse of the Sun, 28th July 1851 at Konigsberg; Sunspots, Lewis M. Rutherfurd, 1870


"Curse the man who invented helium! Curse Pierre Jules César Janssen!" - Principal Skinner from an Episode of the Simpsons TV Series, speaking of the man who in 1868 was the first to observe the presence of a new undiscovered chemical element on another world - in the atmosphere of our Sun.

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III.0 Solar Astrophotography
Includes all four chapters on 'Solar Astrophotography', i.e Hippolyte Fizeau & Leon Foucault, Warren De La Rue, Jules Janssen and Solar Photographic Surveys. Buy at a discounted price.
Part III

III.1 Hippolyte Fizeau & Leon Foucault
Hippolyte Fizeau and Leon Foucault, were the two French physicists who first obtained a photograph of the surface of the Sun.

III.2 Warren De La Rue
Warren De La Rue, although born in Guernsey, was his day the 'foremost celestial photographer' in his adopted country of England.

III.3 Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen
Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen, was one of the founders of solar physics who was the first to observe an unknown emission line in the spectrum of the Sun, which was later found to be produced by the gas Helium.

III.4 Solar Photographic Surveys
The earliest surveys of the face of the Sun were carried out by eye and later telescopes were used to project images onto a screen. Then photography was then used to capture its spots. Today images are obtained from the orbiting solar observatories.

Solar Astrophotography from the first Daguerreotype images of Hippolyte Fizeau and Leon Foucault, to the Photographic Solar Atlas of Jules Janssen up until those obtained by the SOHO space probe

Dr. Stefan Hughes began his career as a professional astronomer, gaining a 1st Class Honours degree in Astronomy from the University of Leicester in 1974 and his PhD four years later on the 'Resonance Orbits of Artificial Satellites due to Lunisolar Perturbations', which was published as a series of papers in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. After graduating he became a Research fellow in Astronomy, followed by a spell as a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Queen Mary College, London. Then came a ten year long career as an IT Consultant. In 'mid life' he spent several years retraining as a Genealogist, Record Agent and Architectural Historian, which he practiced for a number of years before moving to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where for the past ten years he has been imaging the heavens, as well as researching and writing the 'Catchers of the Light' - A History of Astrophotography.

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