THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY by Giorgio Abetti

THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Quiet and scholarly in its style, this is a commendable survey, fulfilling its purpose of a complete and adequate addition to Schuman's Life of Science Library. The organization is simple and the expected one. First there is an introductory chapter on primeval times, how astronomy happened to get started, its connection with religion, etc. A definition of three important periods in astronomy's history comes next- ancient, mediaeval and modern, and it is within the framework of these three that the author continues. After a piece on the non-Greek ancients of Mesopotamia, Central America, China and so forth, he moves into material on the early Greeks, the Alexandrians and Ptolemy, and on to the mediaeval scientists and their always incomplete work that created the atmosphere of uncertainty which heralded Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo, Kepler and, with Newton, the birth of modern astronomy. Post-Newtonian workers and methods, the development of astrophysics, Bessel and Struve, Hale and Eddington in the twentieth century, and a brief glance at the future put the final loop on the knot. Though the essentially exciting events in the science of astronomy rest calm in the hands of Mr. Abetti, he has detailed them here in a way that will satisfy the spot researcher, the student, the generally curious.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1952
Publisher: Henry Schuman