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Astrostatistics. (English) Zbl 0871.62104
London: Chapman & Hall. xii, 221 p. (1996).
The book is mainly aimed at graduate students and professionals in optical and radio astronomy and related disciplines. All chapters are more or less self-explanatory. Some of these are simply called overviews. The examples, which are abundant, are often taken from the astronomical literature of the 1990’s. The statistical techniques presented in the book range from kriging to fractal analysis and from clustering techniques to censoring philosophy. The subtitle “Interdisciplinary statistics” appeals to vagueness in the authors’ definition of astrostatistics. No attempt is made to specify the concept of astronomical statistics as such, which already in the 1950’s was defined by the classics as a transformation of observational data distributions to those of descriptive variables. No mention is made of functional equations as one of the most important tools of basic astronomical modelling. Useful excursions into the history of science are made, but the erroneous attribution of the discovery of stellar proper motions to Bessel surprises the critical reader. The 20-page bibliography adds considerably to the practical value of the book.
Reviewer: H.Eelsalu (Tartu)

62P99 Applications of statistics
85A35 Statistical astronomy
62-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to statistics
85-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to astronomy and astrophysics