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Historical & Cultural Astronomy

History of the Plurality of Worlds

The Myths of Extraterrestrials Through the Ages

Authors: Connes, Pierre

Editors: Lequeux, James (Ed.)

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  • A comprehensive, engaging foray into how beliefs in the plurality of worlds have shifted over time
  • Extends its analysis to the broader development of science, cosmology, and religion
  • Chronicles famous supporters and opponents of the theory, along with its most controversial and significant events
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-41448-1
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About this book

Modern research has demonstrated that many stars are surrounded by planets—some of which might contain the right conditions to harbor life. This has only reinforced a question that has been tormenting scientists, philosophers and priests since Antiquity: Are there other inhabited worlds beyond our own?
This book analyzes the many ways that humans have argued for and depicted extraterrestrial life over the centuries. The first known texts about the subject date from as early as the 6th century BC. Since that time, countless well-known historical characters like Lucretius, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Cusanus, Bruno, Kepler, Descartes, and Huygens contributed to the debate; here, their lesser known opinions on the subject are studied in detail.
It is often difficult for the modern mind to follow the thinking of our ancestors, which can only be understood when placed in the relevant context. The book thus extends its scope to the evolution of ideas about cosmology in general, as well as the culture in which these great thinkers wrote. The research is presented with the author's insights and humor, making this an easy and enjoyable read. 

About the authors

Dr. 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 six books, including The Interstellar Medium (Springer 2005), Le Verrier: Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer (Springer 2013), and François Arago (Springer 2016).
Dr. Pierre Connes joined the laboratory at CNRS after his university studies in Dijon. There, he helped revolutionize the techniques of analyzing the light of the stars and was a pioneer in Fourier transformation spectroscopy. Connes was a long-time beloved friend of the Astronomical Society of Burgundy. He passed away on February 22, 2019 at the age of 90.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-41448-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-41447-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
History of the Plurality of Worlds
Book Subtitle
The Myths of Extraterrestrials Through the Ages
Authors
Editors
  • James Lequeux
Series Title
Historical & Cultural Astronomy
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-41448-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-41448-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-41447-4
Series ISSN
2509-310X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 406
Number of Illustrations
28 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour
Topics

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