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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IX.1 Pioneers of Amateur Astrophotography
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IX.1 Pioneers of Amateur Astrophotography
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On the 1st of September 1886, a Hungarian amateur astronomer named Eugen Von Gothard using a ‘mass produced’ 10 inch reflecting telescope photographed for the first time the central star of the famous ‘Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra. This photograph heralded the rise of the amateur in Astrophotography. Prior to this date ‘celestial photography’ was the sole province of the wealthy or the professional astronomer who owned or had access to large and expensive custom made telescopes. He was the first true pioneer of amateur Astrophotography. Following him were the violinists Alfred Rordame and Marcel De Kerolyr. Rordame, was the first person to photograph features on the cloud shrouded planet Venus, but who had spent his early career as a musician in a Nevada brothel. Marcel de Kerolyr's photographs were the equal if not better than all who came before him and many of those who followed him. He too followed a career as a violinist accompanying his wife who was by all accounts a very talented singer.


Document profile:

Number of Pages: 34

Number of Snippet Panels: 28

Number of Photographs/Illustrations: 53

Number of Notes/References: 37



The author would like to thank: Alfred Rordame III and his son Alfred Rordame IV; I. J. Vincze, I. Jankovics, & J. Kovacs;; Astronomische Nachrichten; Archives of the Gothard Astrophysical Observatory of Eötvös University;, the Observatoire de Haute-Provence; the Mount Wilson Observatory, the Paris Observatory, the Royal Astronomical Society of London; for the use of the following items: text extracts from original sources, genealogical information, photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations included in this eBook.


IX.1 Pioneers of Amateur Astrophotography
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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':

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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.

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On the 1st of September 1886 the Hungarian amateur astronomer, Eugen Von Gothard took a photograph of the central star in the Ring Nebula (M57) with a modest telescope. In doing so he became the first true amateur Astrophotographer.

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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