By: W Patrick McCray
320 pages, 14 illus
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 co-operation in the era of "megascience". Besides exploring how and why scientists embraced the promise and potential of new technologies, McCray considers how these new tools affected what it means to be an astronomer.
This is an exceptionally readable history of the 50-years-plus evolution of large ground-based telescopes from the era of 'cowboy' astronomers to the present day. Historian Patrick McCray shows how profound changes in the sociology of astronomy alternately drove or reflected the development of giant telescopes in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.--Stephen P. Maran"Sky and Telescope" (08/01/2004)
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