Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy
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About the author
Peter Grego is an astronomy writer and editor. A regular watcher of the night skies since 1976, he observes from his home in St Dennis, Cornwall, UK, with a variety of instruments. Grego’s primary observing interests are the Moon's topography and the bright planets, but he likes to ‘go deep’ when there's no glare of the Moon to contend with. Grego has directed the Lunar Section of Britain’s Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA) since 1984 and is the Assistant Director of the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association (BAA). He edits and produces four astronomy publications – Luna (journal of the SPA Lunar Section), The New Moon (journal of the BAA Lunar Section), the SPA News Circulars, and Popular Astronomy magazine. He is also layout editor for the Newsletter of the Society for the History of Astronomy. Grego is the author of numerous astronomy books, including: Collision: Earth! (Cassell, 1998), Moon Observer’s Guide (Philip’s/Firefly, 2004), The Moon and How to Observe It (Springer, 2005), Need to Know? Stargazing (Collins, 2005), Need to Know? Universe (Collins, 2006), Solar System Observer’s Guide (Philip’s/Firefly, 2005), Venus and Mercury and How to Observe Them (Springer, 2008); Astronomical Cybersketching (Springer, 2009); The Great Big Book of Space (QED, 2010), and others. He has given many talks to astronomical societies around the UK and has been featured on a number of radio and television broadcasts. Grego maintains his own website at www.lunarobservers.com (which occasionally features live webcasts of the Moon and planets and other astronomical phenomena) and is webmaster for the BAA Lunar Section at www.baalunarsection.org.uk . He is a member of ALPO, SPA, SHA, and BAA and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. David Mannion has three degrees in astronomy and has worked as a teacher for 23 years in schools and colleges in the UK, Austria, and Turkey, and has also tutored for the Open University in Physics and Astronomy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, having been elected in 1984 and was a member of its Education Committee 2005 – 2010. Dr. Mannion has given lectures on astronomy since 1980, run numerous School Astronomy Clubs, and was vice president and a founder member of the Association for Astronomy Education. His other burning interest is weightlifting and he has participated in the last 6 years of the British Masters Weightlifting Competition. He won in his age group and weight category in 2007 and 2010! He wants to continue watching the stars and lifting weights for as long as he possibly can!
In 1609 Galileo first used his telescope to kick start the science of observational astronomy - an event that proved to be of enormous historic, scientific, and cultural importance. Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy will feature the life and achievements of Galileo, around which has pivoted the story of four centuries of telescopic astronomy. The book will detail how astronomy has progressed through four centuries and contain glimpses of future space research and astronomy goals. Uniquely, interwoven with the text will be a range of practical projects for backyard astronomers in which to participate, projects that serve to illustrate many of Galileo's scientific discoveries.
Springer New York
; September 2010
301 pages; ISBN 9781441955920Read online
, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy
Author: Peter Grego; David Mannion
Eyes on the Skies.- Galileo Magnifico.- Newton’s Universe.- Surveying the Solar System.- A Bigger Picture Unfolds.- Beyond Vision.
In the press
From the reviews:
“The organization is clear and easy to follow with excellent illustrations. In addition to providing history lessons and details of discoveries throughout the ages … include several easy-to-do exercises such as assembling and using a cross-staff or making a telescope from common optics (e.g., discarded binocular parts). Several tables of interesting events including close conjunctions or brighter Messier objects offer an incentive for the reader to become an observer. … Summing Up: Recommended. General audiences.” (M. K. Hemenway, Choice, Vol. 48 (7), March, 2011)
“This is an extraordinary book … . It’s really three books rolled into one; a sound historical overview, a practical explanation of the historical observations, and a useful reference … . skillfully combines aspects of telescopic astronomy in a way that is both very readable and stimulating. … refreshingly new way to present observational astronomy in its historical context and would be a great introduction to anyone starting out in practical amateur astronomy. It is definitely a must have for school libraries and astronomical societies.” (Kevin Kilburn, Popular Astronomy, March-April, 2011)
“This charming book is an easily accessible romp through the history of astronomy, concentrating on what is observable. … Galileo Galilei is clearly the book’s hero. His technical ability to make and improve his own instruments is much admired. … Grego and Mannion are clearly great fans of the Italian ‘father of modern science’. Their delightful book strongly encourages us all to try and follow in his footsteps.” (Carole Stott, The Observatory, Vol. 131 (1222), June, 2011)
“Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy is the story of science and civilisation, retold for a twenty-first century audience. … What makes this book unique is its accessibility. … the authors warmly encourage you to perform your own experiments. … Grego and Mannion paint an insightful picture that … wholeheartedly deserves a read. This is a great book and well worth the modest price tag!” (Neil English, Astronomy Now, January, 2012)