VBAS Calendar

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Monte Sano State Park




Ann Sanford Memorial Library

The VBAS Library is located on the first floor of the Wilhelm Angele Observatory and consists of one of the largest collections of astronomy related publications in the Southeast!

Follow this link to our library catalog: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/vonbraunastrosociety The catalog at LibraryThing is now complete, and even contains the checkout-status of books, now updated approximately weekly (it only lists the status, not the borrower, of course).

The LOWER search box specifically searches the VBAS catalog (do not use the upper search box, unless you want to search other libraries in LibraryThing). Please note the graphic below.

VBAS Library Catalog Search Graphic

Here are some images of our astronomical library:

LibraryLibraryVarious Star Atlases


New Books in the Library Nov 2017

Sunday, 26 November 2017 20:25

The Glass Universe:  How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

Publication Year:  2016

Call Number:  522.1974 SOBEg

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night.  As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.  The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight.

Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair.


We Could Not Fail:  The First African Americans in the Space Program

Publication Year:  2016

Call Number:  629.409 PAULw

Richard Paul and Steven Moss profile ten pioneer African American space workers (technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate) whose stories illustrate the role NASA and the space program played in promoting civil rights. We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.


The Hubble Space Telescope:  Owners' Workshop Manual

Publication Year:  2015

Call Number:  522.2919 BAKEh

A veritable owner's manual for the Hubble Space Telescope, this volume is a moderately technical guide to the tools and technology of the first major telescope to escape the confines of Earth and its atmosphere.  While few images from the telescope are included, much understanding may be gained about how this marvelous machine has revolutionized optical astronomy in our lifetime.  Ever wondered what conditions cause the HST computers to jump into safe mode?  The answers are here.


The Exoplanet Handbook

Publication Year:  2014

Call Number:  523.24 PERRe

The Exoplanet Handbook is a 424 page, comprehensive survey of the theory and observational techniques behind the search for exoplanets.  The book includes discussion of observational instrumentation, transits, planetary system resonance, astrometry, gravitational lensing, and more.

The Table of Contents may be viewed here.


Choosing and Using Astronomical Filters

Publication Year:  2014

Call Number:  522.63 GRIFc

This text provides a detailed introduction to several different types of astronomical filters, including both direct observational filters and astrophotography filters.  Planetary, light pollution, solar, lunar, and deep-sky filters are included in this survey.

The last part of the book is an observational guide to 100 deep sky objects that benefit from the use of filters – all personally observed by the author – with notes on the filters used (or potentially of use) in their observation and imaging.


Scientific Astrophotography

Publication Year:  2013

Call Number:  522.63 HUBBs

Gerald Hubbell distills all of his trial and error wisdom accumulated during his fairly recent journey from novice astrophotographer to accomplished amateur, to create this book.  In a very systematic way, Hubbell describes all the considerations necessary in assembling and successfully operating a complete and versatile astrophotography system.


Space Chronicles:  Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Publication Year:  2012

Call Number:  629.4097 TYSOs

A wide-ranging set of essays, published in 2012, about America's efforts to explore space, this book spans many perspectives, from the economics and politics of funding NASA, to fostering the dreams of past, present, and future explorers, to the continuous advance of technology, which fundamentally enriches our understanding of the universe.  Where has America's space program come from, where is it at, and where shall it go?


Spectroscopy:  The Key to the Stars

Publication Year:  2007

Call Number:  523.87 ROBIs

Written specifically for the scientifically knowledgeable amateur astronomer, the book covers everything from electrons shifting orbits, to the effects of magnetic fields on light, to such considerations as P Cygni profiles revealing the presence of stellar winds.  While avoiding a strictly mathematical treatment of the subject, enough science is presented for establishing a solid qualitative understanding of astronomical spectra.


Chasing Hubble's Shadows:  The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time

Publication Year:  2006

Call Number:  523.112 KANIc

This book, from 2006, emphasizes the ways in which the Hubble Space Telescope has helped us refine and extend our understanding of the sky, ever deeper into the far reaches of the observable universe.


The Once and Future Moon

Publication Year:  1996

Call Number:  523.3 SPUDo

The Once and Future Moon describes the scientific legacy of the 1960s Apollo landings, as well as the 1994 Clementine mission, which led to the first global mapping of the Moon and the unexpected discovery of ice in the areas near its south pole.  The author also argues for the merits of returning to the moon, for both scientific and exploitive reasons.


Wernher von Braun: Crusader for Space, An Illustrated Memoir

Publication Year:  1994

Call Number:  621.43560 STUHw

This book, a companion volume to the textual biographic volume, is a unique collection of photographs compiled from Wernher von Braun's life, spanning his childhood through Peenemunde, White Sands, Redstone and NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center to his final years in Washington, D.C.


Uranus:  The Planet, Rings and Satellites

Publication Year:  1990

Call Number:  523.47 ELLIu

Uranus, the first planet to be discovered through scientific hypothesis, in 1781, by William Herschel, still largely remains a mystery to this day.  Much of what is currently known about this "ice giant" is the result of the Voyager 2 fly-by in 1986.  This 400 page book, with 80+ authors, is the go-to source for those wanting to investigate this just-out-of-reach planet.

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