Telescope Its History, Technology and Future

ISBN-10: 0691129797
ISBN-13: 9780691129792
Edition: 2007
Authors: Geoff Andersen
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Description: In the four centuries since its invention, the telescope has transformed how humans view the universe and their place in it. But what do most of us know about telescopes themselves--their history, how they work, what they are being used for today,  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 5/27/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

In the four centuries since its invention, the telescope has transformed how humans view the universe and their place in it. But what do most of us know about telescopes themselves--their history, how they work, what they are being used for today, or what the next generation of billion-dollar telescopes will look like? InThe Telescope, Geoff Andersen fills in all the details for us in an accessible, nontechnical way that will appeal to the amateur astronomer and anyone else who has been more than a little curious about this amazing instrument. The book covers every aspect of optical telescopes--from the humblest backyard setup, to state-of-the-art observatories, to the Hubble Space Telescope and spy satellites. Chapters describe the development, design, and operation of telescopes; how observatories are sited, engineered, and built; variations such as solar and liquid-mirror telescopes; and some of the key astronomical discoveries telescopes have made possible. And there are plenty of surprises along the way. We learn, for example, that most of today's professional astronomers never even look through their own telescopes, relying instead on digital imaging, measurement, and analysis--or even remote computer control of a night-shrouded observatory on the other side of the Earth. But, asThe Telescopeexplains, these magnificent instruments do more than simply peer into space. They project and receive laser beams--for communicating, mapping, and making detailed observations of the Earth. They also look down at us from spy satellites, providing secret images to intelligence agencies--and, increasingly, giving a curious public access to more pedestrian images. The Telescopeis the ideal introduction to a fascinating instrument that has taught us so much--but that most of us know so little about.

The naked-eye universe
The development of the telescope
How a telescope works
Refracting telescopes
Reflecting telescopes
The perfect telescope
Diffraction and the perfect image
Resolution limit
When good telescopes go bad
Field of view
Air turbulence
Analysing the light
Imaging devices - the camera
Interference - how light waves combine
Michelson interferometer
Michelson stellar interferometer
Imaging interferometry
Nulling interferometry
So you want to build an observatory?
Making a mirror
Site selection
Mechanical engineering
The Hubble Space Telescope
Advanced telescope techniques
Active optics
Segmented primaries
Adaptive optics
Laser guide stars
Laser communications and remote sensing
Laser communications
Airborne surveillance
Space-based surveillance
Other surveillance methods
Laser weapons
Non-traditional observatories
Liquid mirror telescopes
Solar telescopes
Seeing the invisible
Gravitational wave observatories
Key discoveries
The Solar System and Pluto
Comet Halley
The first exo-solar planet
Milky Way black hole
Hubble Ultra-Deep Field
Hoag's Object
Future telescopes
Wide-field wonders
Another pale blue dot
The big boys
One last word
Some mathematical basics
Electromagnetic radiation
Getting your own telescope

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