A Short History of Astronomy (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Scribner, 1899 - Astronomy - 440 pages
2 Reviews
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Even though this book was first published in 1898, it's still in print, still on the required reading list, and remains to this day one of the best introductions to the history of astronomy that anyone has ever written. At 440 pages, it goes into a bit of technical detail, but not so much as to be overwhelming.
Just off hand, I get the impression that this is the sort of book that, along with Plutarch's Lives, would be on the required reading list at the better prep schools (e.g., Philips Exeter) or what the British call public schools (Eton, Harrow, etc.). The rest of, if we're lucky, would read it in college, but only if we major in astronomy.
The way I discovered it was by being a regular reader of Scientific American (and the sort of books they advertize and review) and finding Arthur Berry's book frequently mentioned by writer's I admire (for example Isaac Asimov mentioning that he read this book when he was in high school).
 

Review: A Short History of Astronomy: From Earliest Times Through the Nineteenth Century

User Review  - Matthew Conroy - Goodreads

I read this a tiny bit at a time, and it is written well for that sort of reading, with 320 numbered sections. I noted to myself some time ago that there was a lot I did not know about astronomy, and ... Read full review

Contents

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 244 - I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Page 339 - I have seen double and treble nebulae variously arranged; large ones with small, seeming attendants ; narrow, but much extended lucid nebulae or bright dashes; some of the shape of a fan, resembling an electric brush issuing from a lucid point...
Page 445 - I2mo, $1.50 net. CONTENTS — STORY OF NATURE — SUBSTANCE OF NATURE — POWER OF NATURE — THE EARTH A SPINNING BALL — THE EARTH A PLANET — THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND UNIVERSE — THE ATMOSPHERE — ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA — CLIMATES — THE HYDROSPHERE — BED OF THE OCEANS— CRUST OF THE EARTH — ACTION OF WATER ON LAND — RECORD OF THE ROCKS — CONTINENTAL AREA — LIFE AND LIVING CREATURES— MAN IN NATURE — APPENDICES — INDEX.
Page 342 - If this matter is self-luminous, it seems more fit to produce a star by its condensation than to depend on the star for its existence.
Page v - Verzeiht! es ist ein groί Ergetzen, Sich in den Geist der Zeiten zu versetzen, Zu schauen, wie vor uns ein weiser Mann gedacht, Und wie wir's dann zuletzt so herrlich weit gebracht.
Page 167 - Every body continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, except in so far as it may be compelled by impressed forces to change that state.
Page 342 - They now are seen to resemble a luxuriant garden, which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different nourishing beds; and one advantage we may at least reap from it is, that we can, as it were, extend the range of our experience to an immense duration.
Page 444 - Edinburgh. i2mo, with Illustrations, $1.00, net. CONTENTS — Part I. — ART AS THE EXPRESSION OF POPULAR FEELINGS AND IDEALS: — THE BEGINNINGS OF ART — THE FESTIVAL IN ITS RELATION TO THE FORM AND SPIRIT OF CLASSICAL ART — MEDIEVAL FLORENCE AND HER PAINTERS.
Page 214 - In the beginning of the year 1665 I found the method of approximating Series and the Rule for reducing any dignity of any Binomial into such a series.
Page 215 - Orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about which they revolve : and thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the earth, and found them answer pretty nearly. All this was in the two plague years of 1665 and 1666 ', for in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention, and minded Mathematicks and Philosophy more than at any time since.

Bibliographic information