Stargazer

Stargazer

The Life and Times of the Telescope

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
The telescope is undoubtedly one of the world's most far-reaching inventions. For the past four centuries the telescope has stood at the forefront of human discovery. From its humble beginnings in seventeenth-century Holland, when a simple spectacle-maker first presented his invention to his country's military leaders, to today's colossal structures housed in space-age cathedrals, the telescope has unlocked nature's secrets. And in the past decade, the Hubble Space Telescope has brought us to the very edges of the universe, and the very beginning of time. How did the telescope---a potent mix of art, science, and engineering---reach its present level of sophistication? The history of the telescope is a rich story of human ingenuity and perseverance involving some of the most colorful figures of the scientific world---Galileo, Johann Kepler, Isaac Newton, William Herschel, George Ellery Hale, and Edwin Hubble. Stargazer brings to life the story of these brilliant, and sometime quirky, scientists as they turned their eyes and ideas beyond what anyone thought possible. Professor Fred Watson, one of Australia's top astronomers, writes clearly and skillfully, without technical jargon but with a dash of humor, explaining the science and technology behind the telescope, and the enormous impact that it has had for four hundred years on how we have come to understand the universe.

Perseus Publishing
A lively and well-illustrated history of the development of the telescope and its impact on science and society

The telescope is undoubtedly one of the world’s most far-reaching inventions. For the past four centuries the telescope has stood at the forefront of human discovery. From its humble beginnings in seventeenth-century Holland, when a simple spectacle-maker first presented his invention to his country’s military leaders, to today’s colossal structures housed in space-age cathedrals, the telescope has unlocked nature’s secrets. And in the past decade, the Hubble Space Telescope has brought us to the very edges of the universe, and the very beginning of time. How did the telescope —a potent mix of art, science, and engineering—reach its present level of sophistication?The history of the telescope is a rich story of human ingenuity and perseverance involving some of the most colorful figures of the scientific world —Galileo, Johann Kepler, Isaac Newton, William Herschel, George Ellery Hale, and Edwin Hubble. Stargazer brings to life the story of these brilliant, and sometime quirky, scientists as they turned their eyes and ideas beyond what anyone thought possible.Professor Fred Watson, one of Australia’s top astronomers, writes clearly and skillfully, without technical jargon but with a dash of humor, explaining the science and technology behind the telescope, and the enormous impact that it has had for four hundred years on how we have come to understand our universe.


Book News
Quick, who invented the telescope? Nope, it was Hans Lipperhey, although Galileo Galilei was probably your first guess. Watson, who is in charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory at Coonabarabran, covers all four centuries of the telescope's existence, giving the reasons why it was invented in the first place and the confusion it caused once it was invented. As countless people in the periods' equivalent of white lab coats used it, it challenged everything they knew about the universe and the place of the human being in it, although some paid dearly for their honesty. By the time readers get to the Hubble Space Telescope, surely the most expensive stargazer in the world, they will likely be experiencing "aperture fever" and the sensation that lenses and mirrors should all be large enough to require their own post offices. Watson also gives guidance to those of us whose modest stargazers give us only a glimpse into infinity. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Cambrdige, MA : Da Capo Press, 2005
Edition: 1st Da Capo Press ed
ISBN: 9780306814327
0306814323
Branch Call Number: 522.209 W333s 2005
Characteristics: x, 342 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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GBradburn
Jun 03, 2012

Excellent review of the development of the telescope from the 1500s to the first decade of the 21st century. Watson includes information on the technologiical drivers, technical developments and the personalities, friendships and conflicts of the persons involved. Most of the names will be familiar to the reader but in many cases not from the field of astronomy or optics.
A very readable and engaging tale.

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