Astrophysics and Space Science Library

Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer

Authors: Lequeux, James

  • Translated from the original French by Bernard Sheehan; Edited and with an introduction by Dr. William Sheehan, a neuroscientist and amateur astronomer who is also a research fellow of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Presents the life and work of the French astronomer Le Verrier who discovered the planet Neptune and became famous
  • Provides a comprehensive picture of astronomy in France and to some extent the whole world at the middle of the 19th century
  • Explains all important scientific points in simple terms for the non-specialist
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-5565-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-5564-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4899-8654-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
About this book

Translated from the original French by Bernard Sheehan; Edited and with an introduction by Dr. William Sheehan, a neuroscientist and amateur astronomer who is also a research fellow of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona

Le Verrier was a superb scientist. His discovery of Neptune in 1846 made him the most famous astronomer of his time. He produced a complete theory of the motions of the planets which served as a basis for planetary ephemeris for a full century. Doing this, he discovered an anomaly in the motion of Mercury which later became the first proof of General Relativity. He also founded European meteorology. However his arrogance and bad temper created many enemies, and he was even fired from his position of Director of the Paris Observatory.

About the authors

James Lequeux completed his PhD thesis in radioastronomy in 1962 and was an assistant, then associate, professor of physics and astronomy at Paris University until 1966. He was an Astronomer from 1966-1999 and an invited scientist at CalTech from 1968-1969. Dr. Lequeux was also the Director of the Marseilles Observatory from 1983-1988 and was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics for 15 years. He retired in 1999 and then began work on the history of astronomy, a subject he presently writes about. Dr. Lequeux has published over 403 papers and four books, including The Interstellar Medium (Springer 2005).

Reviews

From the book reviews:

“The principals are illustrated together with many instruments, documents and buildings, as a standalone collection it would be very useful to any student of 19th century science. … the book comes directly from French archives, making this the definitive English language biography of Le Verrier. It makes an indispensable addition to our knowledge of astronomy of that turbulent era. … It must find a place in any Library dedicated to the history of science.” (Brian Sheen, F.A.S. Newsletter, Issue 105, Spring, 2014)

“This English version casts a fresh light on Le Verrier – the astronomer who discovered the planet Neptune ‘at the end of his pen’ in September 1846. … This book is very readable and presents a fascinating story of conflict and discovery. Bernard and Bill Sheehan deserve thanks for bringing it to an anglophone readership.” (David Sellers, Journal for the history of Astronomy, Vol. 45, February, 2014)

“Lequeux’s detailed account of the professional life of one of France’s best-known 19th-Century astronomers is a work of extensive scholarship, and fills admirably a curious void in the literature on world astronomers of renown. … The book is extremely well written … . The book is as thorough a study as can be conceived, and should be in every library as a testament to Paris’s struggles with both pollution and people during its formative years on the world astronomical stage.” (Elizabeth Griffin, The Observatory, Vol. 133 (1237), December, 2013)

“French astronomer/historian Lequeux delves deeply into the life and work of Urbain Le Verrier (1811-77), from his early studies and mathematical interests through the discovery that made him famous, the prediction of the position of an unknown planet (later named Neptune). … Footnotes provide references and scientific explanations. … The translation and editing are excellent. Summing Up: Highly recommended. History of astronomy collections, upper-division undergraduates and above.” (M.-K. Hemenway, Choice, Vol. 51 (3), November, 2013)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-5565-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-5564-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $199.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4899-8654-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
Loading...

Recommended for you

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer
Authors
Series Title
Astrophysics and Space Science Library
Series Volume
397
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-5565-3
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-5565-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4614-5564-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4899-8654-2
Series ISSN
0067-0057
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 337
Additional Information
Originally published in French
Topics