SPLENDOR IN THE SKY by Gerald S. Hawkins


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This is a superior over-all historical survey of astronomy, and because of the wide scope of its cultural references and fine clear style it is one of the best and most interesting introductions to the subject available today. The author's short, well focused chapters, built around historical focal points, make the astronomical facts stand out clearly. Beginning with the observations and beliefs of the stargazing shepherds of the Tigris and Euphrates valley, Dr. Hawkins tells what the Greeks and Romans found out about astronomical phenomena, and of the procession of discoverien by Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, and Newton. There are related little-known anecdotes about attempts to build enormously long telescopes, tales of futile voyages to observe eclipses, and uncluttered descriptions of the physical inhabitants of the visible and invisible universe from galaxies to the moon to meLeurities to the accomplishments of man-made satellites. There are surprisingly lucid descriptions of the various modern theories of cosmology, as well. The author is director of the Boston University Observatory, and Research Associate at Harvard College Observatory, working with Professor Fred Whipple.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1961
Publisher: Harper