Archives of the Universe

Archives of the Universe

A Treasury of Astronomy's Historic Works of Discovery

Book - 2004 | 1st ed.
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An unparalleled history of astronomy told through 100 primary documents--from the Maya's first recorded efforts to predict the cycles of Venus to the 1998 paper that posited an accelerating universe. Award-winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak is a wonderfully compelling guide in this sweeping overview. Her authoritative, accessible commentaries on each document provide historical context and underscore the more intriguing and revolutionary aspects of the discoveries. Here are records of the earliest naked-eye celestial observations and cosmic mappings; the discovery of planets; the first attempts to measure the speed of light and the distance of stars; the classification of stars; the introduction of radio and x-ray astronomy; the discovery of black holes, quasars, dark matter, the Big Bang, and much more. Here is the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Halley, Hubble, and Einstein, as well as that of dozens of lesser-known scientists who have significantly contributed to our picture of the universe. An enthralling, comprehensive history that spans more than two millennia--this is essential reading for professional astronomers, science history buffs, and backyard stargazers alike. "From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780375421709
Branch Call Number: 520.9 A673
Characteristics: xvii, 695 p. : ill. ; charts.
Additional Contributors: Bartusiak, Marcia 1950-


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Nov 08, 2014

I really enjoyed reading this book! Each chapter describes a particular scientist with interesting stores and historical insight, then shows a copy of their seminal paper on the subject of interest. Famous scientists and not so famous. So, for example, Danish scientist Ole Rohmer measures the speed of light over 300 years ago by watching the orbit of IO, a moon of Jupiter. Great story. And easily understandable by a students who may be studying astronomy in grade 6 as part of the Ontario curriculum.

The timeline runs from before Ptolemy's description of the universe to the big bang and dark matter. Bartusiak has a way of making it sound exciting which I guess it was - and still is. And, now, it is interesting to look back and see what brilliant minds there have been in the history of the world.

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