Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens

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Viking, 1998 - Science - 198 pages
3 Reviews
The human race has not always lived in an infinite universe: for centuries, the earth spun at the center of a giant sphere, and the starlit dome of the night sky marked the ultimate boundary of the cosmos.The quirky tales of the men who pushed those heavenly limits further and further outward make up Seeing and Believing, Richard Panek's engaging and often amusing account of the telescope, and its significant role in revising humanity's perception of the universe. From Galileo's momentous achievement in 1609 and William Herschel (the musician-turned-astronomer who discovered Uranus) to the crazy brilliance of George Ellery Hale and the minds behind the mighty Hubble space telescope, Panek focuses on the often larger-than-life figures behind our cosmological odyssey. Seemlessly fusing elements of philosophy, politics, literature, and religion, Seeing and Believing chronicles the human mind as it contemplates an ever widening universe.

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User Review  - c_j_bolt - LibraryThing

I found this to be an excellent survey of how our conception of the universe has changed over the last couple of millenia, and how these shifts relate to technological change (in the instrument of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

History of the telescope as it changed over time and changed science and the questions asked by science. Great topic, OK delivery. Read Aug 2006 Read full review


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About the author (1998)

RICHARD PANEK is the prize-winning author of "The 4% Universe" and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Science Writing.

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