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Newcastle Astronomical Society
November 27, 2006 @ 12:00 am
Astronomy Book Launch Monday 27th November,2006 at the University of Newcastle's Linguistics building GP1.1. Dr Geoff Andersen's 'Eye on the Sky' 7.30pm -9pmWho's turning 400 years old, is worth billions of dollars and is
watching your every move?
EYE ON THE SKY
by Dr Geoff Andersen
Release Date – Nov 2006
RRP $44.95 Hardback
The telescope turns 400 in 2008. What has happened in 400 years?
While Galileo was not the inventor, as most people think, he was one
of the first to use it, and certainly the first to document astronomical
observations. Oddly enough, he would have no problem recognizing
one today. For amateurs, the basic instrument remains the same, but
with the biggest astronomical observatories it has changed a lot. The
next generation of telescopes is on the drawing board. These
telescopes will be huge – possibly with mirrors as large as a football
field. They rely on all sorts of amazing technologies such as adaptive
optics which uses mirrors that can be warped to correct for
atmospheric distortion to give crystal clear images of distant objects
Today Australia has invested a 5% share in the $200 million Gemini
telescopes (located in Hawaii and Chile). This is a lot of money. Why
is the government spending this kind of money? For that matter why
do telescopes cost so much these days, and why are they put on top
Dr Geoff Andersen, an extremely bright Australian is at the heart of
the telescope business working for the United States Air Force. Their
main interest in telescopes is in surveillance and laser weapons.
What sort of things can they see with these telescopes? Why do big
telescopes help in focusing bright laser beams for shooting down
missiles? Telescopes will also be used in future space missions to
transmit data via laser beams. Why would NASA be looking into this?
Eye on the Sky is written for the layman in very clear English,
Geoff both writes and speaks with infectious enthusiasm
Dr Geoff Andersen
is an extraordinary Australian, at 36 he is at the
top of his field as a research associate with the Laser and Optics
Research Center at the United States Air Force Academy where he
has been for the past nine years. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the
University of Adelaide, Australia and over 15 years' research and
teaching experience in the areas of lasers, holography, lidar and
optical systems design. Dr Andersen has worked on projects for
various agencies including the United States Air Force, National
Reconnaissance Office and NASA.