This book is about observing dramatic and often bizarre cosmic events. Observation of gamma ray bursts, cataclysmic variable star outbursts, distant supernovae, and even active galactic nuclei might be thought to be far beyond the range of amateur observers but this is not the case. Recent technical developments in CCD equipment, powerful PCs, new observing and processing techniques, and professional satellite monitoring systems have opened a range of high-value niche areas of scientific astronomy to amateurs. Cataclysmic Cosmic Events and How to Observe them explains what these events are, what we know of their physics, and how amateur astronomers can observe them.

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