Earlier this year Erik Westermann released “Remote Astrophotography Using Slooh.com – A Handbook” on Amazon. He now has released a second edition of the book and is making it free for download.
According to Westermann, “The reason for the new edition is that Slooh.com has made major changes to the interface, their communities, added guides and quests and made many other changes. I updated about half the book with new screenshots and workflows, and added new sections to make learning about Slooh.com easier, including a Quick Start guide. The other parts of the book discuss image processing using FitsWork 4 and GIMP as well as discuss things like photometry and image processing using AstroImageJ, and exoplanet hunting using the MicroObservatory service (all software and services discussed are free to use [except Slooh.com of course]).”
Slooh.com is a remote telescope service that offers its members the use of eight telescopes in two hemispheres. It’s a great way for astronomers to add to the number of observing nights because their telescopes are located at dark sites with good weather, so reservations run pretty reliably.
Westermann’s book is designed to appeal to those that are interested in astronomy at the beginner to intermediate level. For beginners, it’s for those who may have an interest in the things you see in the sky at night but might not have a lot of background information and you want a place to start and have a good foundation to build upon. Those at the intermediate level will also benefit as he demonstrates methods to improve skills in composing and processing images as well has how to gain skills in advanced subjects such as photometry.
The book spans two broad parts: (1) Mission Planning and Booking and (2) Image Processing. There’s a third part to the book in the Appendix where he discusses how he uses Slooh.com, his adventures in exoplanet hunting and the tools and processes he used to write the book.
The book is available for download here.