The Norton history of astronomy and cosmology

Other titles
  • Fontana history of astronomy and cosmology.
  • History of astronomy and cosmology
  • Astronomy and cosmology.
Edition
  • 1st American ed.
Published
  • New York : Norton 1994, c1995
Physical description
xxvii, 697 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
  • 0393311937 (pbk.)
  • 0393036561
Notes
  • Originally published in England under the title The Fontana history of astronomy and cosmology.
  • Statement of responsibility from jacket.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Originally published in England under the title The Fontana history of astronomy and cosmology.
Contents
  • Prehistory -- Ancient Egypt -- Mesopotamia -- The Greek and Roman world -- China and Japan -- Pre-Columbian America -- Indian and Persian astronomy -- Eastern Islam -- Western Islam and Christian Spain -- Medieval and Early Renaissance Europe -- Copernicus' planetary theory -- The new empiricism -- The rise of physical astronomy -- New astronomical problems -- The rise of astrophysics -- Cosmogony, evolution and the sun -- The renewal of cosmology -- Radio astronomy -- Observatories in space -- Macrocosm and microcosm
Other names
Genre
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrated
Language
  • English

Summary

  • What is our place in the cosmos? How big is the universe? No science has a more ancient lineage, or a greater capacity to awaken our sense of wonder, than astronomy and cosmology. With a witty and accessible style, John North tracks the development of celestial knowledge from prehistory to Stephen Hawking and the Hubble Space Telescope. North shows how the seasonal motions of sun, moon, and stars triggered the first efforts at systematic astronomy, from the megalithic observatory at Stonehenge to the achievements of astronomers in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, India, China, and Central and South America. He recounts how, despite false starts, blind alleys, and missed connections, astronomical knowledge slowly accumulated until the synthesis of Islamic and medieval Christian science set the stage for the revolution in understanding brought about by Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. Carrying this fascinating scientific journey through to the present, North tells how the insights of Einstein and others transformed the Newtonian universe into one of relativity, quantum particles, black holes, and the big bang. The result is a brilliant, engaging history of humanity's quest to understand how the universe works.

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