The Telescope: Its History, Technology, and Future

The Telescope: Its History, Technology, and Future

by Geoff Andersen
     
 

"As we approach the International Year of Astronomy, the four-hundredth anniversary of Galileo's turning a telescope on the heavens, Geoff Andersen has produced an interesting book on the centuries' progress in optical observations. Chapters on telescopes used for surveillance and on a series of astronomical discoveries add interest beyond discussions of the

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Overview

"As we approach the International Year of Astronomy, the four-hundredth anniversary of Galileo's turning a telescope on the heavens, Geoff Andersen has produced an interesting book on the centuries' progress in optical observations. Chapters on telescopes used for surveillance and on a series of astronomical discoveries add interest beyond discussions of the telescopes themselves."—Jay M. Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College

"This book covers both the science of astronomy and the telescope technology that underlies astronomical discoveries. This balance enhances our appreciation of telescopes as engineering marvels, and it increases our understanding of what the operators of these instruments are trying to accomplish."—Richard Kron, University of Chicago

"The Telescope is an extensive and thorough look at the telescope in all its modern variants, and the only book like it that I know of. I enjoyed reading it, and I'm sure that many others will too."—Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691129792
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/07/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,322,644
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Andersen is a research physicist at the United States Air Force Academy, where he studies telescope and microscope design, holography, and remote sensing. He has worked on projects funded by the U.S. Air Force and NASA.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Chapter 1: The naked-eye universe 13

Chapter 2: The development of the telescope 25

Chapter 3: How a telescope works 37

Imaging

Refracting telescopes

Reflecting telescopes

Chapter 4: The perfect telescope 44

Diffraction and the perfect image

Resolution limit

Chapter 5: When good telescopes go bad 53

Aberrations

Field of view

Air turbulence

Chapter 6: Analysing the light 66

Imaging devices—the camera

Spectroscopy

Photometry

Polarimetry

Chapter 7: Interferometry 80

Interference—how light waves combine

Michelson interferometer

Michelson stellar interferometer

Imaging interferometry

Nulling interferometry

Chapter 8: So you want to build an observatory? 95

Making a mirror

Site selection

Mechanical engineering

Chapter 9: The Hubble Space Telescope 109

Chapter 10: Advanced telescope techniques 125

Lightweighting

Active optics

Segmented primaries

Adaptive optics

Laser guide stars

Chapter 11: Laser communications and remote sensing 140

Laser communications

Lidar

Chapter 12: Surveillance 149

Airborne surveillance

Space-based surveillance

Other surveillance methods

Laser weapons

Chapter 13: Non-traditional observatories 162

Liquid mirror telescopes

Solar telescopes

Seeing the invisible

Gravitational wave observatories

Chapter 14: Key discoveries 181

The Solar System and Pluto

Comet Halley

The first exo-solar planet

Milky Way black hole

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field

Hoag's Object

Chapter 15: Future telescopes 197

Wide-field wonders

Another pale blue dot

The big boys

One last word 217

Appendix A: Some mathematical basics 220

Appendix B: Electromagnetic radiation 226

Appendix C: Getting your own telescope 233

Notes 236

Bibliography 240

Index 243

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