Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2004 - Nature - 367 pages
1 Review

Every night, astronomers use a new generation of giant telescopes at observatories around the world to study phenomena at the forefront of science. By focusing on the history of the Gemini Observatory--twin 8-meter telescopes located on mountain peaks in Hawaii and Chile--Giant Telescopes tells the story behind the planning and construction of modern scientific tools, offering a detailed view of the technological and political transformation of astronomy in the postwar era.

Drawing on interviews with participants and archival documents, W. Patrick McCray describes the ambitions and machinations of prominent astronomers, engineers, funding patrons, and politicians in their effort to construct a modern facility for cutting-edge science--and to establish a model for international cooperation in the coming era of "megascience." His account details the technological, institutional, cultural, and financial challenges that scientists faced while planning and building a new generation of giant telescopes. Besides exploring how and why scientists embraced the promise and potential of new technologies, he considers how these new tools affected what it means to be an astronomer. McCray's book should interest anyone who desires a deeper understanding of the science, technology, and politics behind finding our place in the universe.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology

User Review  - E mc square Einstein - Goodreads

I like Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
13
Section 3
50
Section 4
68
Section 5
84
Section 6
114
Section 7
143
Section 8
172
Section 11
256
Section 12
265
Section 13
278
Section 14
280
Section 15
290
Section 16
309
Section 17
311
Section 18
317

Section 9
204
Section 10
237
Section 19
319
Section 20
357

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

W. Patrick McCray is an assistant professor in the History Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara. This is his second book.

Bibliographic information