When the first version of this book was published back in 1973 it was possible to summarize all of radio astronomical discoveries in fair detail in a single monograph without overwhelming the reader. That was because the science of radio astronomy was barely 20 years old since technology had spurred a rapid growth in our ability to map the heavens in the radio band. The subsequent edition of this book, published in 1987, entitled The Invisible Universe Revealed, reflected the rapid growth of this science by including dramatic radio images, or radiographs, of distant sources of radio waves.
At the start of the 21st century our ability to produce stunning images of radio galaxies, for example, is a matter of routine and color is readily added for effect. In thisedition we have included several of the most informative colorized radiographs made to date. Another enormous change seen over the last 20 years is the sheer volume of information that has been accumulated by a generation of very large radio telescopes working over an increased wavelength range. Therefore it is no longer possible to provide a comprehensive overview such as the one that made up the 1973 edition.
It is with this caution in mind that we enter the Invisible Universe of radio astronomy to describe its contents in broad terms, cognizant that to go into more detail would make this book unacceptably long (and expensive!). Also, in producing this new edition 1 have kept in mind the interests and potential needs of the intelligent lay person who might have visited a radio observatory and who then seeks to assuage their curiosity by reading more about this science.
The present rewrite would have been impossible without the input of a large number of colleagues, some in person, others through email, and the help of staff at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Also, each of the images shown in this book required a large amount of careful work on the part of dozens upon dozens of colleagues who together have turned the invisible universe of radio astronomy into a gallery of visual representations that stagger the imagination. Thus it is with great pleasure that I list those who have helped in re-educating me, and those who provided information that made my task possible. I apologize for any inadvertent omissions.
Thank you Sue-Ann Heatherly, for encouraging me to take on the project, and my wife Joan Schmelz for seconding the motion and for her subsequent urging and encouragement as well as her editorial advice, to Barry Turner for having been a great office mate for years in the youthful days of radio astronomy, and for helping establish a reliable molecule list, with assistance from A1 Wooten, and Butler Burton for his overall enthusiasm for the project and help in getting it started.
This revision would not have been possible without the help of the following colleagues: Fred Lo, MillerGoss, Patricia Reich, Rainer Beck, Cornelia Lang, John Hibbard, Dave Hogg, Scott Ransom, Jim Moran, Mark Reid, Harvey Lizst, Peter Kalberla, Ed Fomalont, Ken Kellermann, Alan Bridle, Katherine Blundell, Meg Urry, Juan Uson, Alan Bridle, Elly Berkhuijzen, Dave Jauncey, Charles Lada, Tom Dame, Jim Braatz, Steve Schneider, Baerbel Koribalski, Lister Staveley-Smith, Paul Vanden Bout and to NRAO staff members Billie Rodriguez, Pat Smiley, and Marsha Bishop.
Thank you one and all, and enjoy.
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