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Four hundred years ago, on 25 September 1608, the lens maker Hans Lipperhey from Middelburg in the Netherlands traveled to The Hague to apply for a patent regarding his invention of the "spyglass". The Commander in Chief of the Dutch armed forces, Prince Maurice of Nassau, was quite impressed. However, since the instrument could be easily copied, Lipperhey was not granted the patent. Nevertheless, within a year Galileo Galilei aimed a telescope that he had built based on the principals of Lipperhey's device on the skies, forever changing the way astronomy was done.
To celebrate the invention of the telescope and the resulting developments, Leiden Observatory, in cooperation with ESTEC, organized an international meeting on "400 Years of Astronomical Telescopes". The meeting took place from 29 September - 2 October 2008 at the ESTEC conference centre. This book presents the highlights of this meeting under the following categories: History of Optical Telescopes, History of Non-Optical Telescopes, Miscellaneous Aspects and Projects, Fundamental Telescope Technologies, Political and Sociological Aspects, Perspectives for Future Telescopes.
The topical reviews have been written by internationally recognized leaders of the field. This book is intended as a first reference to many technical, historical and social aspects concerning astronomical telescopes. It is equally well suited to professional astronomers as to the interested public.
400 Years of Astronomical Telescopes: A Review of History, Science and Technology
The beginnings, from Lipperhey to Huygens and Cassini.- Galileo's telescope: history, scientific analysis, and replicated observations.- The Era of Newton, Herschel and Lord Rosse.- The great nineteenth century refractors.- In the grip of the big telescope age.- "Beautiful and cantankerous instruments": telescopes, technology, and astronomy's changing practice.- Astronomical spectroscopy in the last four decades: survival of the fittest.- The history of radio telescopes, 1945-1990.- History of infrared telescopes and astronomy.- History of X-ray telescopes and astronomy.- History of gamma-ray telescopes and astronomy.- Imaging very high energy gamma-ray telescopes.- History of solar telescopes.- History of neutrino telescope/astronomy.- 400 years of astrometry: from Tycho Brahe to Hipparcos.- History of astronomical discoveries.- Capabilities of amateur telescopes - and their development over the last 35 years.- Creation of the Hubble Space Telescope.- History of mirror casting, figuring, segmentation and active optics.- Telescope mounts and dome structures.- Adaptive optics: a breakthrough in astronomy.- The development of astronomical interferometry.- The submillimetre revolution.- Historical footnote to Ian Robson's talk at the Leiden observatory conference-400 Years of Astronomical Telescopes-entitled "The Rise of the Submillimetre" on Wednesday 1 October 2008.- Back to the future: science and technology directions for radio telescopes of the twenty-first century.- Realization of X-ray telescopes-from design to performance.- Gamma-ray telescopes.- Past and future of ESO.- The role of observatories in underdeveloped countries.- Telescopes in the mirror of scientometrics.- Early history space astronomy.- Conceiving and marketing NASA's Great Observatories.- Future technologies for optical and infrared telescopes and instruments.- Perspectives and challenges for future telescopes.