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Historical & Cultural Astronomy

Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy

A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore

Authors: English, Neil

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  • Contains a treasure-trove of historical information about the characters, culture and observing styles of the greatest visual observers in history
  • Features photos of the most iconic historical telescopes 
  • Provides a chronology of observatories – both lavish and humble – and how they evolved over the centuries
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eBook $169.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97707-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97706-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The invention of the telescope at the dawning of the 17th century has revolutionized humanity's understanding of the Universe and our place within it. This book traces the development of the telescope over four centuries, as well as the many personalities who used it to uncover brand-new revelations about the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and distant galaxies.

Starting with early observers such as Thomas Harriot, Galileo, Johannes Hevelius, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, Robert Hooke and Christian Huygens, the book explores how these early observers arrived at essentially correct ideas concerning the objects they studied. Moving into the 18th and 19th centuries, the author describes the increasing sophistication of telescopes both large and small, and the celebrated figures who used them so productively, including the Herschels, Charles Messier, William Lassell and the Earls of Rosse.

Many great discoveries were also made with smaller instruments when placed in the capable hands of the Struve dynasty, F.W. Bessel, Angelo Secchi and S.W Burnham, to name but a few. Nor were all great observers of professional ilk. The book explores the contributions made by the 'clerical astronomers,' William Rutter Dawes, Thomas William Webb, T.E.R Philips and T.H.E.C Espin, as well as the lonely vigils of E.E. Barnard, William F. Denning and Charles Grover. And in the 20th century, the work of  Percival Lowell, Leslie Peltier, Eugene M. Antoniadi, Clyde Tombaugh, Walter Scott Houston, David H. Levy and Sir Patrick Moore is fully explored.

Generously illustrated throughout, this treasure trove of astronomical history shows how each observer's work led to seminal developments in science, and providing key insights into how we go about exploring the heavens today.

About the authors

Dr. Neil English is an internationally respected author of several books on amateur astronomy and space science, including Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope, Space Telescopes: A History, Classic Telescopes and Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope. He is a long-time regular contributor to Astronomy Now magazine and has a particular interest in the history of visual telescopic astronomy. The proud owner of a 5-inch f/12 classical achromat, he also enjoys using a variety of Newtonian reflectors from his home in rural, central Scotland.

Reviews

“Neil has skilfully woven an individual path through this ‘golden era’ as he describes it, by recounting in great detail the instruments, books and lives of individuals he considers important to the story. I am confident that many of these will seem equally important to others interested in astronomy. I am planning on re-reading the book again as soon as I have finished this review. I recommend that you seriously consider reading it too.” (John Chuter, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 129 (2), April, 2019)


“This is a massive tour de force, some 665 pages, profusely illustrated throughout, covering the history of observational astronomy and perhaps more importantly the pioneer astronomers themselves. … The author, himself an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, has a way of making history come alive. He has written with passion something that is both unique in substance and enjoyable in style.” (Azrabella, stargazerslounge.com, December, 21, 2018)

Table of contents (41 chapters)

Table of contents (41 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $169.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97707-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97706-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy
Book Subtitle
A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore
Authors
Series Title
Historical & Cultural Astronomy
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-97707-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-97707-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-97706-5
Series ISSN
2509-310X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 665
Number of Illustrations
84 b/w illustrations, 182 illustrations in colour
Topics