Recommended books



This section provides up-to-date information on books and other reading material available to assist the amateur in spectroscopy. Hopefully you will find it useful.

If you know of other material which should be added to these listings - let us know by posting details on the Group

Books and recommended reading Good listing of useful books. An eclectic compendium of ProAm articles.

ARAS listing of interesting publications.

Richardson Grating Handbook The "bible" on all types of gratings, theory and manufacture.

laser stars History A good readable "Readers Digest" version of the history of spectroscopy.

laser stars spectra library Excellent collection of very useful spectra data and catalogues.

Low Resolution Spectroscopy Excellent introduction to low resolution spectroscopy (OHP 2013).

"Spectroscopic Atlas for Amateur Astronomers" - Richard Walker, CUP, 2017. This is mandatory reading for all amateurs - definately a "must have".

“Stars and their spectra” – James B Kaler, 2nd Ed. CUP, 2011. Should be on every bookshelf!

“Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs” – K M Harrison, Springer, 2011. Covers the history and background; obtaining and processing spectra and spectroscope design and construction. Highly recommended!

“Grating Spectroscopes – How to use them” – K M harrison, Springer 2012. A great introduction to using your first grating spectroscope (Star Analyser or Rainbow Optics).

“Practical Amateur Spectroscopy”– Stephen F Tonkin (Ed), Springer, 2002.

“Optical Astronomical Spectroscopy” – C R Kitchin, Taylor & Francis, 1995.

“Astrophysical Techniques”, 4th Ed.– C R Kitchin, Taylor & Francis, 2003.

“Spectroscopy: The key to the stars” – Keith Robinson, Springer, 2007. Great introduction to the physics behind the lines.

“Starlight: An introduction to stellar physics” – Keith Robinson, Springer, 2009.

"Introduction to Astronomical Spectroscopy" - I Appenzeller, CUP, 2013.

"Handbook of CCD Astronomy" - S B Howell, 2nd Ed. CUP, 2010.

"Stellar Spectral Classification" - R O Gray & C J Corbally, Princeton, 2000. "The" reference book on OBAFGKM.

"The Observation and analysis of Stellar Photospheres" - D F Gray, CUP, 2008.

"The analysis of starlight" - J B Hearnshaw, CUP, 1990.

"Spectroscopic Instrumentation" - T Eversberg & K Vollmann, Springer, 2015.

"Classical Novae" - M F Bode & A Evans, 2nd Ed, CUP, 2008.

"Unravelling Starlight" - B J Becker, CUP, 2011.

"Spectrum of belief - Joseph von Fraunhofer and the craft of precision optics" - M W Jackson, MIT, 2000.

"Nineteenth-Century Spectroscopy" - W McGucken, John Hopkins, 1969.

The following books are also available on the web for download at They give a wonderful insight into the early years of spectroscopic development.

“The Spectroscope and its work” – Richard A Proctor, 1888

“The Spectroscope and its applications” – J Norman Lockyer, 1873

“How to work with the Spectroscope” – John Browning, 1882

“Sir William Huggins and Spectroscopic Astronomy” – E W Maunder, 1913  

A treatise on astronomical spectroscopy Scheiner, revised by Frost, 1895. Fascinating overview of astronomical spectroscopy pre 1900

Spectroscopic Observations of the Sun - Lockyer 1869 Excellent reading.