The amount of new scientific data about our Sun obtained by Skylab and its crews is indeed impressive by any scale. However, not until one sees a comprehensive profile of the results under one cover and compares them with the observations man has been able to accomplish before in all of history, does the full magnitude of this scientific achievement come clearly into focus. Skylab and the Apollo Telescope Mount were a triumph for the scientists, a great accomplishment for the engineers and managers, and a challenge to the astronauts.
None of this would, of course, have been possible without the perseverance and dedication of the solar science community and, in particular, the principal investigators who provided the necessary planning and impetus for the Apollo Telescope Mount project. Their efforts, in combination with the engineers, technicians, and other personnel in Government, industry, and the academic community, brought the initial concepts into reality and produced the exceptional instrumentation and other hardware that were so essential to providing the desired results.
This volume highlights the key findings of Skylab by emphasizing pictorial results that not only show some of the striking features never seen before but also clearly reflect the new detail and dimension revealed about our Sun by Skylab instrumentation. For further analysis and scientific interpretation of these data, and the tens of thousands of additional pictures and other information returned from orbit, the reader is referred to the scientific publications and presentations by the principal investigators, coinvestigators, and other collaborators. (ATM scientific publications and presentations published through February 1977 are listed in NASA TMX-73300 entitled "Apollo Telescope Mount-A Partial Listing of Scientific Publications and Presentations" and in NASA TMX-73393, in Supplement I to NASA TMX73300.)
The basic concept and manuscript for this book was prepared by John A. Eddy of the High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research (sponsored by the National Science Foundation), who was assisted by N. Paul Patterson and Halka Chronic. Skylab solar photographs were provided by the Skylab ATM principal investigators, with special help from Joan Vorpahl, Leon Golub, Randolph Levine, Jesse Smith, Brian Dohne, and Adam CsoekePoeck. Guidance and technical counsel were provided by an editorial board chaired by Gordon A. Newkirk, Jr. The original layout was by Harry R. Melson.
This book is offered as a grateful tribute to the thousands of people who worked on or supported the solar investigations on Skylab. Their efforts have provided a new horizon for the study of our Sun.