21 March 2017, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Officers’ Club
“Galileo’s Telescopes and Observations – The Great Inflection Point in the History of Science”
Alan Agrawal, MD
In 1609, Galileo Galilei significantly improved the optical performance of the telescope and began a series of celestial observations that dramatically changed our understanding of the universe and our place in it.
He developed a new method for reliably comprehending phenomena in the world around us, and so correctly has been called the father of modern science. This talk will lay out the key developments in the history of science related to astronomy preceding Galileo, describe in detail what is known about the optics and construction of his telescopes, and then discuss his observations and how they radically changed the science of astronomy.
Alan Agrawal is a physician who specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases in the field of rheumatology. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and independent historian on the development of the telescope. He designs and builds telescopes and eyepieces, enjoys deep sky observing with his 0.6 meter telescope, is interested in the testing of optics and currently in the process of building an interferometer. He is an active member of the Antique Telescope Society and the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, and just recently joined the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. He has given previous talks on Galileo’s telescopes, the history of sky charts, and the life and work of Joseph von Fraunhofer.
Photo credit: Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Giusto Sustermans