Alan Hirshfeld: From Backyard to Mountaintop: The Adventures of History's Best Worst Telescope
The 36-inch reflector of English amateur astronomer Andrew Common made its way from a London backyard to a Yorkshire estate and ultimately to a mountaintop observatory in California. This little-known telescope, built in 1879 and still operating today, revolutionized celestial photography and proved to 19th-century astronomers that the future of cosmic discovery lay in the camera, not the human eye.
Alan Hirshfeld, Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and an Associate of the Harvard College Observatory, is the author of Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos
, The Electric Life of Michael Faraday
, Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes
, and most recently, Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe
. He is a regular science book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal and has written about episodes in the history of science for many magazines.
About Starlight Detectives
Discover magazine “Top 5 Summer Read”
Scientific American/Farrar, Straus & Giroux “Favorite Science Books of 2014”
NBC News “Top Science and Tech Books of 2014”
Kirkus Reviews “Best Nonfiction Books of 2014”
Nature magazine Books and Arts blog “Top 20 Reads of 2014”
Boston Authors Club, Finalist – Julia Ward Howe Prize, 2016
Please join us for a pre-meeting dinner discussion at House of Chang, 282 Concord Ave, Cambridge, MA at 6:00pm before the meeting.