The telescope is literally the world's most far-reaching invention. It can unlock nature's secrets in the remotest corners of the universe. It is a time machine, allowing us to look billions of years into the past for answers to some of our most profound questions.
In its 400-year history, the telescope has progressed from a crudely fashioned tube holding a couple of spectacle lenses to colossal structures housed in space-age cathedrals.
The history of the telescope is a rich story of ingenuity and perseverance involving some of the most colourful figures of the scientific world. It begins in ancient times, gathers momentum through the Renaissance, with the first recorded telescope bursting onto the scene in the middle of a diplomatic crisis in seventeenth century Holland, and takes us to the limits of space with the cutting-edge telescopes of today.
Written by Fred Watson, one of Australia's best-loved astronomers, Stargazer brings the story of the telescope to a general readership for the first time.