Unusual Telescopes

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In this book, Peter Manly surveys more than 150 unusual telescope designs. These are telescopes built by amateur and professional astronomers to suit some special need. There is, for instance, an inflatable telescope and one with a liquid mirror. Every so often a neglected design comes back into fashion: the largest telescopes now under construction use the alt-azimuth design that was ignored for over a century, and liquid mirror telescopes can be used for zenithal astronomy. The author shows why a particular engineering approach makes each telescope unique and explains the rationale behind the design. The effects on telescope performance are discussed where possible. This is not just a collection of weird and wonderful devices that proved to be false starts; the author also discusses the first instrument to measure star diameters and the first useful radio telescope. This book is a resource and stimulus for anyone who likes to build astronomical telescopes or is interested in the history of telescope-making.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...amatuer astronomer Peter Manly takes us on an unforgetable tour... the reader leaves this book with an increased sense of awareness of how varied and beautiful the history of telescopes has been." David H. Levy, The Strolling Astronomer

"...this book takes its task seriously, resulting in a good read for people interested in learning about how telescope designs evolved; how some oddball shapes of one time turned into the accepted design of another." David H. Levy, The Strolling Astronomer

"...the next best thing to going round a museum. The book is clearly written, well illustrated and both instructive and entertaining....Many astronomers, in fact many scientists, are insufficiently aware that it is the progress of instrument design that spearheads the progress of their science. Too many of them do not know how their instruments are made or what is inside the black boxes that they use; it would do them good to read a book like this." R. Hanbury Brown, Nature

"...for the knowledgeable reader who is interested in the topic, it is an invaluable resource." Thomas A. Lesser, Science Books and Films

"This well-illustrated book takes delight in the offbeat designs that have popped up throughout nearly four centuries of telescope making." R. W. Sinnott, Sky & Telescope

"...provides interesting and often amusing descriptions of what makes some telescopes stand out from the rest. With an informal style and a wide familiarity with telescopes, Manly has written a book with an appeal not only to the principal audience of amateur observational astronomers but to a broader group of engineers and professional astronomers with an interest in system design or telescope performance." Ruth Peterson, Science

"This cheerful and original book is amusing and genuinely instructive at once." Scientific American

"...delightful light reading while not sacrificing technical detail....on a scale of 1 to 10, there is no doubt in my mind that Unusual Telescopes rates a solid 10!" Richard E. Hill, Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers

"...will appeal certainly to telescope makers, but also to other readers who want to learn about extraordinary telescopes or about developments in mirror and telescope technology....a fascinating book...." Dave Bruning, Astronomy

"...This book is a clearly written pratical guide on how to design research studies, analyse quantitative data, and interpret the results. It clarifies many poorly understood or misunderstood aspects of statistics, and it introduces some new, promising statistical methods and designs...Researchers who want to raise their competency in statistics to aid their work, as well as students seeking clarification or further instruction on statistical matters, will find this book very helpful. It could be used for self-study or as a textbook to accompany a graduate-level course in statistics..." The Quarterly Review of Biology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521483933
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Optics; 2. Telescope mounts; 3. Telescope and mount materials; 4. Strange drivers; 5. Moving the whole telescope; 6. The moving eyepiece; 7. The stationary eyepiece; 8. Limits; 9. Whimsy; Index.

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