Charles E. Steele has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and science. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Industrial Design. He has lived in Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, California, Japan, and Germany, giving him wide living experiences and educational perspectives. Mr. Steele has worked at several nationally known design firms and at the General Motors Styling Center. He has designed several products that became national best sellers. In 1988, he was awarded the IDSA, IDEA award for his work on the Sarns, Heart Lung Machine and has been awarded 11 U.S. Patents. He has been listed in Who's Who in the Midwest.
Steele's interest in astronomy started when he was in the third grade as he watched a series of lectures on astronomy from an Indianapolis television station. While in high school he built a 6” reflector telescope, and started a high school astronomy club. His senior college thesis project was the design of a space telescope which would give clearer views of the heavens. Astronomer Fritz Zwicky was also interested in a space telescope, and he reviewed the design. The design was based on existing technology; however, in the following two decades many advances in various fields led to the development of a more sophisticated Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which was launched in the late 1980s. Fritz Zwicky is now credited with the discovery of Dark Matter.
Before the HST was launched the public was told this was the most precise telescope mirror ever made, yet after the HST was launched it was discovered that its mirror was defective! Astronomer Carl Sagan, who was involved in a number of NASA space missions, gave a talk in Michigan which I attended shortly after the HST was deployed. After his presentation, he had a Q and A session. As I had built a telescope, I knew there were a number of tests one could preform to assure you had polished a good telescope mirror, so I asked him why these tests had not been preformed. He told the audience the best test to detect a ‘turned down edge’, required a large flat mirror to be made. The manufacture of the mirror was so confident of their polishing method they did not think the test was necessary, so to save money it was not done. Opticians were able to construct a corrective lens which was later installed in the HST to restore the telescope to its intended optical performance. The HST has given us, our clearest and most distant views of the heavens in the last two decades.
Through the years the author has followed the discoveries in science by reading Sky and Telescope, Scientific American, Astronomy Magazine, and Science News. He has read a number of books on Astronomy, Astro Physics and Cosmology. He often watches programs on PBS, Nova, The Learning Channel, Discovery, History and Sci Cable channels. All this has given him knowledge and insights to the fields of astronomy and cosmology, so that he could write this book.
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Author Charles E Steele
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