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From the traditional origins of astronomy to the Copernican revolution, and from Galileo to Hawking's examine into black holes, the tale of Astronomy charts the discoveries of a few of the best minds in human heritage, and their makes an attempt to unveil the secrets and techniques of the celebs.

Peter Aughton's trademark narrative variety is to the fore, demystifying the various greatest breakthroughs within the historical past of technological know-how, and packed jam-packed with attention-grabbing nuggets corresponding to why we now have 60 mins in an hour, how the Romans bodged the discovery of the bissextile year and whilst humans particularly came upon the Earth wasn't flat (a thousand years ahead of Columbus). And explaining within the simplest and compelling of the way what Newton, Einstein, Hubble and Hawking quite completed.

Richly informative and readable, the tale of Astronomy is an engaging trip via 3000 years of stargazing. incorporated are chapters on: The Origins of Astronomy; From Babylon to old Greece; The Almagest; Persian Stargazing; Nicholas Copernicus; Tycho and Kepler; Galileo; Newton and The Clockwork Universe; William Herschel; discovering Longitude; Einstein; Hubble's Universe; The Microcosm and the Macrocosm; past the seen Spectrum; Black Holes and Quasars; Stephen Hawking; the instant of construction; the long run.

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Within the moment century after the beginning of Christ the paintings of the Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer Ptolemy introduced a brand new figuring out concerning the Earth, the celebs and the planets. on the front to the harbor at Alexandria at the island of Pharos stood the main recognized lighthouse in antiquity, precise as one of many Seven Wonders of the traditional international. The Lighthouse of Alexandria is expounded to were greater than one hundred ten meters (361 feet) excessive. yet Alexandria used to be no longer the single harbor to boast one of many wonders of the area. within the historic Greek urban of Rhodes, beside Mandrákion harbor, there stood a massive statue of the solar god Helios. The statue, the Colossus of Rhodes, used to be acknowledged to be 70 cubits excessive (about 32 meters/105 ft). The Brightness of the celebs within the moment century BC, whilst the astronomer Hipparchus (190–120 BC) labored in Rhodes, the Colossus used to be nonetheless remembered through the aged citizens of the town. at present Alexandria remained unchallenged within the historic international because the maximum heart of studying. even though, in Hipparchus, Rhodes had an astronomer moment to none on the time. Hipparchus made precious contributions to trigonometry. He had a valid knowing of the geometry of the field, and he was once the 1st to indicate mesh of imaginary circles that we now name range and longitude have been the precise coordinates for mapping the outside of the Earth. utilizing a similar procedure he labored out a round coordinate procedure for the heavens similar to that used for the Earth. Hipparchus’ maximum success, in spite of the fact that, was once that via learning the heavens he outfitted up a catalog of the celebrities and adequately recorded the positions of 850 of them within the evening sky. it's a degree of his looking at ability that he additionally assigned a level of brightness to each superstar on a scale of 1 to 6. lower than his method significance one denoted the brightest stars and importance six indicated the faintest stars. It was once the 1st try out at a type of importance, and the procedure was once nonetheless in use centuries after his time. Measuring the sunlight process Hipparchus was once no longer unduly encouraged by way of prior pondering the celebs and planets. He believed that the Earth was once a spinning globe in house and that it orbited the sunlight as soon as each year. Like Aristarchus (c. 310–230 BC) and others sooner than him Hipparchus desired to degree the size of the sun system—the distances from the Earth to the Moon and from the Earth to the solar. If he may well locate those distances then he might simply calculate the dimensions of the sunlight and the Moon from their angular diameter of part a level or half-hour of arc. He was once capable of calculate the space to the Moon with out even leaving the island of Rhodes. He knew from the astronomical files new release ahead of his time a complete eclipse of the solar were saw and recorded on the Hellespont, close to the town of Byzantium. He stumbled on that this similar eclipse had additionally been saw at Alexandria, yet as the latter used to be 500 miles (805 km) to the south, the eclipse used to be no longer overall in Egypt.

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