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Eyes on the Sky


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Table of Contents

1: Galileo opens the sky 2: The big reflecting telescopes 3: How to build bigger telescopes 4: Stretching the spectrum: Infrared and ultraviolet. 5: Into Space 6: X-rays 7: Gamma rays and cosmic rays 8: Radio telescopes 9: Pairs and arrays 10: Millimetre waves and spectral lines 11: Opening the cosmos 12: Then, now, and tomorrow Further reading Index

About the Author

Sir Francis Graham Smith is a distinguished pioneer of radio astronomy. He was President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1975 to 1977, and was appointed Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in 1976, where he was involved in setting up the Northern Hemisphere Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Island. He was the thirteenth Astronomer Royal, serving from 1982 to 1990, and Physical Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society from 1988 to 1994. Awards for his work include the Royal Medal of the Royal Society (1987) and a knighthood in 1986. He also written several books, most recent of which is Unseen Cosmos, on the story of radio astronomy, published by OUP in 2014.


The book offers a very nice historic survey of telescopes and the related techniques for astronomical observations in all parts of the spectrum, and should be a good read for anyone interested in the subject. * Manuel Vogel, Contemporary Physics *
[T]he real fascination of the book is the way it almost incidentally highlights how dramatically science has changed in little more than 50 years. * The Wall Street Journal *
there are two aspects that are fascinating here - one is the sheer range of equipment out there ... The other bit that's even more interesting is finding out more about how these telescopes actually work * Brian Clegg, Popular Science *
If you like to build your background knowledge and have an interest in how astronomy is undertaken, rather than just the results, this is the book for you. You probably won't consider this much of a holiday read, but if, like me, you have an interest in astronomy (and probably dabbled with small telescopes in your teens) it will be irresistible. * Brian Clegg, Popular Science *
an enjoyable and informative read * Andrew May, Fortean Times *
Graham-Smith sets out things clearly and comprehensively * Steve Craggs, Northern Echo *
a valuable history * Bernie Fanaroff, Nature *
Nobody could have done a better job than Graham Smith in presenting such a balanced and clear survey of telescopes in all wavebands, and setting them in a historical context. His book will be appreciated by all astronomers. * Martin Rees *

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