The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History

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9780521326889: The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History
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The Great Copernicus Chase is an anthology of 36 incidents drawn from the history of astronomy. The chapters range from Stonehenge and ancient Egypt, to the Great Comet of 1965, and to Albert Einstein. In this series of articles, arranged roughly chronologically, Professor Gingerich covers all the important periods and developments in astronomy. The book is generously illustrated throughout, and opportunity has been taken to add illustrations to articles that originally had none. The curious reader will learn of the origin of the zodiac, Islamic astronomy, fake astrolabes, the foundation of modern astronomy in the USA, and the discovery of the spiral arms of our Galaxy. Although Professor Gingerich prepared this material primarily for readers interested in the historical background to astronomy, there are many original research discoveries and insights. This is popularization and intellectual history combined. The Copernicus Chase refers to Owen Gingerich's attempt to make a census of all extant copies of De Revolutionibus. Some of the many adventures that have befallen him in this quest feature in the book. The majority of the chapters originally appeared in Sky and Telescope, the monthly astronomy magazine published by Sky Publishing Corporation of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Review:

'The essays are beguiling and well written ... well worth reading and the book will bring them to a wider audience ...' Nature

'It is anecdotal and eminently readable, but underneath its racy and unstructured exterior it makes some strong historical points with authority that such popular writing usually lacks.' The Times Literary Supplement

' ... potential readers should be warned that ... this book is difficult to put down ... a book to read, to dip into in odd moments, to use for reference; above all, it is a book to enjoy.' Contemporary Physics

Book Description:

The Great Copernicus Chase describes 36 incidents drawn from the history of astronomy. The chapters range from Stonehenge and ancient Egypt, to the Great Comet of 1965, and to Albert Einstein. In this series of articles, arranged roughly chronologically, Professor Gingerich covers all the important periods and developments in a book that is generously illustrated throughout.

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Gingerich, Owen
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