Astronomical Image Processing
INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMICAL IMAGE
PROCESSING: A Comprehensive Guide to CCD Image Enhancement for the IBM-PC and
Compatibles with AstroIP Software, by Berry, 8.50" by 11.00", 96 pages,
softbound, IBM-PC diskette included, published 1991, 1 Lb. 5 Ozs. ship wt.,
Most books on image processing are full of complicated
mathematical formulas and equations. This one is not. This book is a manual for
amateur astronomers (and anyone else who is fascinated by image processing)
that you can use. And because we've included AstroIP software and plenty of
sample pictures on the diskette bound into the back of this book, you can start
image processing right away.
This book shows you easily you can achieve professional-quality
image processing results with your own IBM-PC or any MS-DOS computer with a
CGA, EGA, or VGA (best) graphic card. You don't have to be a computing genius
or know how to program --- you just type simple commands from on-screen menus.
The image you're working on will change before your very eyes as the software
routines do their work!
The most exciting thing about image processing is the tremendous
power to manipulate images it puts into your hands. With a few keystrokes you
can summon powerful software routines that bring hidden features to light,
enhance obscure details, or reveal brightness contours the eye has missed. This
book is designed to help you do all these things and more.
The software diskette bound into this book includes all the images
shown as examples in this book, and many more. After you've duplicated what you
see in the book, you can go on to experiment with originals from amateur-grade
CCD cameras --- pictures you could have taken yourself --- as well as sample
images taken by the cameras aboard Voyager's spacecraft at Jupiter and Saturn.
For the serious programmer, the distribution diskette includes the
complete program source code if you are curious, you can examine in detail how
AstroIP accomplished its work. Or, if you wish to, you can extend AstroIP by
adding your own special routines in QuickBasic language. Whatever you needs,
work at your own pace and enjoy the image-processing power and magnificent
astronomical images you'll find in this book and software package.
What the Reviewers said:
". . . This manual is well illustrated, clear, easy to use, and
makes a very impressive processing package, describing in detail how to
manipulate your Lynxx, SBIG, or Electrim images to get the most information
from them. Each action is very clearly explained, and the mechanics of the
processing operations are well illustrated with a series of astronomical image
pictures, and corresponding histograms. Don't worry about whether you will be
able to understand all this image manipulation stuff, the manual is superb and
in fact could stand in its own right as a book on image processing . . ."
". . . Finally, as Richard Berry promised the program comes
complete with its source code written in QuickBASIC which allows you to change
and customize as you wish. We printed it out and it covers 39 pages! AstroIP
puts into the hands of the amateur a really powerful tool for analyzing and
manipulating images, at [a] very reasonable price . . ."
--CCD NEWS degree
"Richard Berry, editor of the US magazine Astronomy , was
amongst the first to get hands-on experience with the revolutionary
astronomical CCD cameras destined for amateur use. He has put his considerable
experience to good use by penning this 96-page book (manual would be more apt).
He has also written in QuickBasic the accompanying computer software contained
in two 360K floppy disks. This goes well beyond the simple software supplied
with most CCD cameras and permits the user full control over his own images to
extract the maximum information to professional standards. With consummate ease
the computer allows a level of control unheard of in the photographic darkroom.
Berry's easy going style covers every aspect of image processing
via the home PC from first principles. The disks contain numerous top flight
images including samples by Don Parker (planetary) and Jack Newton (deep sky)
for you to experiment with. Amongst the topics covered are high, low and noise
filters for sharpening images, purpose made filters to produce bas-relief,
bright and dark sharp and unsharp masking or even contour or posterization.
Don't be put off by the fancy names --- you will soon recognize many of the
effects published in popular magazines or at least know how it is done and why.
Although the software is based around manipulating images from
the Texas Instruments TC-211 CCD chip (used by SBIG, ST-4, Electrim EDC 1000
and SpectraSource Lynxx cameras etc.), the book remains a mine of information
by stripping away the mystique and mathematics that have previously surrounded
the subject. If you already have a CCD camera or are just contemplating, it is
essential reading . . ."
--Astronomy Now (England)
"Most books on digital image processing have been written by
expert mathematicians who seem to prefer that the majority of the human race
should learn as little as possible about the subject! Joking aside, such
authors often present abstruse mathematical equations and concepts, with little
attempt to relate the algebra to readily understood `common-sense' effects on
an image. This book, however, whilst not covering all aspects of digital image
processing, is easy to understand and does not attempt to conceal the principle
in a fog of convolutions and transforms. I recommend this package to users of
CCD imagers . . . and suggest that anyone interested in the fundamentals of
digital image processing will probably find it of value."
--Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Copyright ©2000 Willmann-Bell,
Inc. All rights reserved.