The field of astrometry, the precise measurement of the positions, distances and motions of astromical objects, has been revolutionized in recent years. As we enter the high-precision era, it will play an increasingly important role in all areas of astromy, astrophysics and cosmology. This edited text starts by looking at the opportunities and challenges facing astrometry in the twenty-first century, from space and ground. The new formalisms of relativity required to take advantage of micro-arcsecond astrometry are then discussed, before the reader is guided through the basic methods required to transform our observations from detected photons to the celestial sphere. The final section of the text shows how a variety of astromical problems can be solved using astrometric methods. Bringing together work from a broad range of experts in the field, this is the most complete textbook on observational astrometry and is ideal for graduate students and researchers alike.
William van Altena is Professor Emeritus in the Astronomy Department, Yale University, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory astronomy, astronomical observing and astrometry for over 40 years. He served as Director of the Yerkes Observatory, Chair of the Yale Astronomy Department and was Team Leader for the Hubble Space Telescope's Astrometry Instrument Definition Team and a member of the HST Astrometry Science Team. His current research involves studies of the kinematical structure of the Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere, binary stars and the use of high technology cameras to study galaxy remnants that are merging with the Milky Way.