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In 1900 a mysterious object was found among the remains of an ancient shipwreck off the coast of a Greek island. At first, it wasn’t clear what it was or where it came from. A century of investigation by archaeologists, engineers and astronomers has finally revealed its secrets and shown it to be one of the most remarkable artefacts from the ancient world. The mechanism deserves to be called the world’s first computer (analogue) and was designed to predict key astronomical events in the heavens. Its degree of mechanical, mathematical and astronomical sophistication is extraordinary and would not appear again anywhere in the world until the renaissance. As an excuse for believing in an ancient visit to earth by an alien civilization, it is much more convincing than the pyramids!
Mark Casali, is a globally-regarded leader with over 30 years of experience in the design and construction of world-class instrumentation. Dr Casali currently led the technology development and second-generation ELT instrument programs for the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which operates a suite of powerful telescopes based in Chile including the VLT facility of 8-metre telescopes, and the new 39 metre Extremely Large Telescope, currently under construction. He is the Director of the Australian Astronomical Optics.