By John Lankford
This Encyclopedia lines the heritage of the oldest technological know-how from the traditional global to the distance age in over three hundred entries by way of prime experts.
This new heritage of astronomy, within the type of an encyclopedia, is a great addition to the literature of astronomy. a few of the histories which have been released at the moment are lengthy out of print. even though these early histories are nonetheless necessary, this quantity brings jointly, in a truly readable and delightful layout, a lot info scattered between numerous courses. the original caliber of this paintings is its five-pronged method of providing information.
The first process, which takes up lots of the publication, is a ancient assessment of astronomy. historic and medieval classes are lined, however the concentration is at the beginnings of the medical revolution of the 17th century to the current. the second one technique appears at astronomy because it matches into numerous nationwide contexts. for instance, the reader will locate key entries for astronomy in France or Russia or nice Britain, describing milestones of astronomical accomplishments in every one of these countries.
Observatories are patently vitally important in a heritage of astronomy. There are entries for all the nationwide observatories in addition to the various best inner most examine associations and universities. As one other entry aspect, the fourth procedure presents the social heritage of astronomy. There are entries protecting issues comparable to girls in astronomy, literature in astronomy, and the Catholic Church and astronomy. eventually, as a 6th procedure, the encyclopedia comprises quite a few biographical entries. The biographies are short , with numerous bibliographic references to extra broad biographies.
This is a wonderful encyclopedia that's effortless to exploit. There are a constrained variety of illustrations, all in black and white, yet they're crisp and transparent. The textual content, with columns according to web page, is particularly uncomplicated from a visible viewpoint. inside of each one access, phrases, words, or names might be boldfaced, indicating there's an access in other places within the e-book. each access has at the least one pointed out reference, and lots of have greater than 20. A normal index is included.
This encyclopedia is extremely prompt for school libraries and for public libraries and high-school libraries that want info past that supplied via normal encyclopedia units. it may turn into a customary reference quantity, filling a distinct segment within the reference assortment because the preliminary, first-stop resource on astronomical issues.
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Additional info for History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia
As part of the l iterature of omens, i n which celestial phenomena were correlated with events of state. Very little is known about the early history of astrology, even though a large number of omen texts survive. Belief in astrology has been cited as one of the impor tant factors motivati ng the transmission of astronomical knowledge between cultures (Neugebauer, Exact Sciences, 1 68). During the Hellenistic period, there was an increased i n terest in astrology, which relied on the pro duction of numerical astronomical tables.
Bur rhe British astronomers were lukewar m . They wanted direct access to the telescope-access by right, nor via the ANU-which they maintained could be achieved only by operating i t through a separate body directly responsible to the board . They thought too that the ANU had badly underestimated the costs and the technical difficulties. So began a bitter dispute rhar embroi led many people. Exacerbated by personal and institutional rivalries, it became notorious throug hout the astronomical world, created deep rifts in Australian astronomy, and at rimes threatened the future of the whole project.
By 1 920, t h e profession of astronomy was well established . Wi thout academic credentials, one's transition from amateur to professional became unlikely. The mathematics involved at the frontiers of astronomy exceeded the grasp of most amateurs and, for the first time, professional astronomers used felescopes with apertures far exceeding those of the largest amateur telescopes. New strategies by which amateurs could contribute to astronomy with out competing with professionals were clearly needed .