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Book Reviews


The Isaac Newton Telescope at Herstmonceux and on La Palma
Author: Anthony Wilson

Publisher: Science Projects Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9512-3942-1

Price: £10.95 (Pb), 148pp


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This slim, beautifully illustrated paperback book looks at the history of the Isaac Newton Telescope, formerly sited at Herstmonceux and now at La Palma in the Canary Islands, from its inception in the late forties to the present day. Divided into two sections, the first part covers its conception, the numerous problems and delays that were encountered, and the endless committees that were formed to discuss the various type of optics that it should have. We hear of its eventual use at Herstmonceux to the time of its departure in 1979, including a rare photograph of the original mirror leaving the American glassworks on the start of its journey to Britain. Part two covers the modifications required to make it operative in its new home at La Palma, the building of its new dome, and the move with work undertaken and succeeding modifications up to the present day.

Disappointingly, the book has been rather tightly bound so the text is inclined to disappear into the binding somewhat, especially at the centre of the book; something which could easily have been rectified due to the wide margins on each page. Also, Charles Messier (on page 74) is referred to as Claude, however, these niggles do not distract from what is an informative and very enjoyable read.

This is a book that is very difficult to put down until the last page is reached, such is the style of writing. It would appeal to those who remember the days when the telescope was at Herstmonceux and also to the layman interested in learning more about the history of what is now the Science Centre. A very worthy addition to the bookshelves.

Jan Young

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
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Infinity Rising
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Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
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Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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