Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy (Astronomers Universe)

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Many hundreds of enthusiasts are hard at work on dozens of exciting projects. Douglas Isbell, co-chair of the AAS program committee for IYA , says, "We are developing an exciting set of programs and events built around seven themes, from looking through telescopes, to activities for classrooms and families, to new media such as social networking websites, all toward the goal of offering an engaging experience to every person in the country and fostering partnerships to sustain public interest.

9 of the Most Important Telescopes in the Universe of Astronomy

As I see it, there's one activity that should be at the top of every nation's list: giving participants a chance to look through a telescope. In my experience, nothing else is as effective in turning people on to astronomy.


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Amateur astronomers can play a huge role in this. IYA offers our best chance ever to show the rest of the world why we love astronomy so much.

Bestselling Series

Let's make the most of this opportunity! This is fantastic news.

To have Astronomy sanctioned by the United Nations in marvellous news for all mankind. This is going to give Astronomy a long overdue boost in our country where educationally, it has been rather neglected in the past by the Education Authorities here, in New Zealand.

Galileo and Years of Telescopic Astronomy : Peter Grego :

With advancing technology, astronomers discovered many faint stars and the calculation of stellar distances. In the 19th century, using a new instrument called a spectroscope, astronomers gathered information about the chemical composition and motions of celestial objects.

Twentieth century astronomers developed bigger and bigger telescopes and, later, specialized instruments that could peer into the distant reaches of space and time. Eventually, enlarging telescopes no longer improved our view… all because of the Earth's atmosphere.

How the Telescope Changed Our Minds

The next time you gaze up at the night sky, you're likely to spot a twinkling star. But is it really twinkling?

What looks like a twinkling star to our eyes is actually steady starlight that has been distorted, or bent, by the Earth's atmosphere. The visual effect of this distortion is like looking at an object through a glass of water. Telescopes here on the ground -- which also must peer through Earth's atmosphere -- are equally vulnerable to our atmosphere's visual tricks.

Gemini Observatory

That's why astronomers around the world dreamed of having an observatory in space -- a concept first proposed by astronomer Lyman Spitzer in the s. From a position above Earth's atmosphere, a telescope would be able to detect light from stars, galaxies, and other objects in space before that light is absorbed or distorted. Therefore, the view would be a lot sharper than that from even the largest telescope on the ground.


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  8. On April 25, , five astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery deployed the eagerly anticipated telescope in an orbit roughly miles km above the Earth's surface. That deployment and, later, the unprecedented images that Hubble delivered represented the fulfillment of a year dream and more than two decades of dedicated collaboration between scientists, engineers, contractors, and institutions from all over the world.

    Journal content

    Hubble's Job Description Explore the solar system. Measure the age and size of the universe. Search for our cosmic roots.

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