Astronomical image processing has been a thriving art for over a quarter century now. The best general handbook I know of is The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing, by Richard Berry and James Burnell (2nd ed., 2005), published by Willmann-Bell (www.willbell.com); it comes with an excellent software package, AIP4WIN.
For general principles of digital image processing, see Scott E. Umbaugh, Computer Imaging (Taylor & Francis, 2005). Other useful handbooks include R. Scott Ireland, Photoshop Astronomy (Willmann-Bell, 2005), and Ron Wodaski, The New CCD Astronomy (New Astronomy Press, 2002, www.newastro.com).
Two useful books-on-CD, Photoshop for Astrophotographers and A Guide to As-trophotography with DSLR Cameras, have been authored and published by Jerry Lodriguss (www.astropix.com). I also highly recommend Robert Reeves' pioneering Introduction to Digital Astrophotography (Willmann-Bell, 2005); it may seem odd to describe a book only two years older than this one as a pioneer, but that's how fast the field is changing!
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