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:

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Appendices to the main text, which include an Astrophotography Timeline, 109 Important Astronomical Photographs, Chemistry of Photographic Processes, Telescope Systems, CCDs, Useful Astrophotography Formulae, a Glossary and Family Pedigrees.
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Come visit 'Catcher' our colourful and vibrant Blog. Learn more about Astrophotography, its Historyand the pioneers who made it all possible.

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Recent Blogs have included a piece on William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse and how his story is that of a Real 'Downton Abbey', the Story of God's astronomer - Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, Ten Famous Astronomical Photographs and the Leprechaun's Guide to Digital Photography - the true story of how the CCD camera was invented.

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The following Appendices are included:
A: Astrophotography Timeline
This Appendix gives a summary of the main events that took place in the historical development of Astrophotography from 1800 up until the present day..
B: 109 Important Astronomical Photographs
This Appendix contains a list of 109 Astronomical Objects and Telescopes which were important to the historical development of Astrophotography.
C: Chemistry of Photographic Processes 
This Appendix discusses in detail the chemistry of the Daguerreotype, Calotype, Collodion and Gelatino-Bromide photographic processes.
D: Telescope Optical System
This Appendix describes the various  designs of Telescope Optical Systems which were used by astronomers over the last century and a half in Astrophotography.
E: Charge Coupled Devices
This Appendix discusses the workings of the Charge Coupled Device or CCD in relation to its use in Astrophotography.
F: Useful Astrophotography Formulae
This Appendix gives a number of useful but simple formulae used in Astrophotography.
G: Glossary of Terms
This Appendix gives definitions for the various astronomical and photographic terms used in the book.
H: Astrophotographer Family Pedigrees
This Appendix gives a family pedigree for each pioneer discussed in the book.


Document profile:

Number of Pages: 180

Number of Snippet Panels: 17

Number of Photographs/Illustrations: 263

Number of Notes/References: 289




The Author would also like to thank: Abobe, Cyanogen, the Columbia University of New York, the De Montfort University, Leicester; Archives of the Gothard Astrophysical Observatory of Eötvös University; the Hamburg Observatory, the Harvard College Observatory, the Hastings-on-Hudson Historical Society, the Lick Observatory, the Lyon Observatory, NASA, the Paris Observatory, the Principal Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice in England, the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Science Museum, South Kensington, London; Software Bisque, Stark Labs, the Mount Wilson Observatory, the Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago for the use of the following items: text extracts from original sources, genealogical information, photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations included in these Appendices.


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Important Notice

The 'Catchers of the Light' eBooks on the History of Astrophotography can NOW be read on Windows PCs & Androids, Apple Macs and iPads. 

Our Customers can use ANY or ALL of the following THREE different formats to read the 'Catchers of the Light':

  • A PDF (Printed Document Format) version, which can only be read on a PC or an Apple Mac running Windows emulation software. This version does not require Internet Access to be read, please 'right click' and choose 'Save Target As' option to download the free PDF version of the 'Catchers of the Light' Introduction PDF;
  • 'flip page' version for a PC or Mac, which makes use of your Internet Browser. It is compatible with IE, Opera, Firefox, and Safari. An Internet Connection is required for this version to be read.For an example of this new eBook reading experience, please click: 'Catchers of the Light' Introduction (if you are using a PC or Mac to view this page);
  • An iPad or Android 'flip page' version. An Internet Connection is required for this version to be read. For an example of this new eBook reading experience, please click:  'iPad: Catchers of the Light' Introduction (if you are using an iPad or Android to view this page);
  • iBook Versions for all our eBooks are NOW AVAILABLE on the iTunes Store, and can be read using a Mac or iPad.

The free unencrypted introduction to the 'Catchers of the Light' - History of Astrophotography can also be read on any PC, Mac iPad or Kindle with pdf reader software installed. When purchasing the complete 'Catchers of the Light', customers will be provided with Access/Download Instructions for ALL of the above THREE versions of the eBook.

For further information on our eBooks and the 'anti-piracy' software used to protect them, see Our eBooks page.




Catchers of the Light includes eight Appendices to the main text, which provide further detail on particular aspects of Astrophotography and its history.

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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