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Newcastle Astronomical Society

November 27, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST

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?


by Dr Geoff Andersen

Release Date – Nov 2006

RRP $44.95 Hardback

248 pages



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

of mountains?

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.


November 27, 2006
12:00 am




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