Historical & Cultural Astronomy

Lewis Swift

Celebrated Comet Hunter and the People's Astronomer

Authors: Kronk, Gary

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  • Provides a look at Lewis Swift's life, career, and scientific accomplishments as an astronomer, including his discovery of the Swift-Tuttle comet named after him
  • Discusses Swift's influence on the lives of others, including amateur astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard, who turned professional during the late 19th century 
  • Equips readers with a complete list of Swift's deep sky objects
  • Includes extensive quotes from Swift that provide details about his life, astronomy, and other topics 
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eBook $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-63721-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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Hardcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $149.99
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About this book

This biography covers the life of Lewis Swift (1820-1913), who discovered 13 comets and nearly 1,200 other deep sky objects. All 13 comets found by Swift now bear his name, including three periodic comets with periods of 6 years (11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR), 9 years (64P/Swift-Gehrels), and 133 years (109P/Swift-Tuttle).
Swift's enthusiasm and success as an amateur astronomer helped make him famous in the United States. With the help of others, Swift was able to buy a 16-inch refractor, the third largest telescope in the United States at the time. Hulbert Harrington Warner built "Warner Observatory" to house this telescope. As a prolific writer and lecturer, Swift's stories appeared in newspapers and magazines, while his lectures showed that he was able to explain anything in a way that everyone could understand. 
When Warner went broke during the "Panic of 1893," Swift was forced to leave his home. Almost two dozen invitations arrived from around the United States asking him to bring his telescope to their city, and he eventually accepted the invitation of Californian Thaddeus Sobieski Constantin Lowe. 
This book highlights Swift's valuable contributions to astronomy before failing eyesight forced him to give up this profession. In addition to detailing Swift's life, biographical material is also provided for a number of individuals who were influenced by Swift. This includes his son, Edward, who was discovering deep sky objects as a teenager. 

About the authors

Gary W. Kronk received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He has been employed at Washington University at St. Louis since 1985, where he is a programmer analyst, and occasionally teaches classes on software programs. 
Observing, researching, and writing about comets is an activity the author has participated in for most of his life, with over 2,000 observations of over 130 comets. He is the author of seven titles, and has been published in “Sky & Telescope,” “Astronomy,” “Icarus,” “the Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers” and more. His books include “Comets: A Descriptive Catalog” (Enslow Publishers, 1984), “Meteor Showers” (Enslow, 1988), and a six volume series title “Cometography” with Cambridge University Press. The 5th volume was published in 2010. In 2004, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced that minor planet number 48300 was being given the name “Kronk” in honor of the author’s extensive research for his Cometography series. 

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63721-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Lewis Swift
Book Subtitle
Celebrated Comet Hunter and the People's Astronomer
Authors
Series Title
Historical & Cultural Astronomy
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-63721-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-63721-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-63720-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-87619-1
Series ISSN
2509-310X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 428
Number of Illustrations
17 b/w illustrations
Topics