Synopses & Reviews
"Astronomy is a foundation stone in our self-image as a species, and Parallax
does an outstanding job showing us how that stone was laid." — San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Compelling? Try kidnapping, mudslinging, and despair, all in the name of the stars." — Kansas City Star
"A tale of science at its best." — The Boston Globe
This lively history of the struggle to measure the distance to the stars introduces a memorable cast of historical figures, from ancient Greeks to nineteenth-century scientists. Characters include an impoverished boy, plucked from a collapsed building to become the greatest telescope maker in the world; a hot-tempered Dane who loses his nose in a duel over mathematics; a merchant's apprentice, forced to choose between a lucrative career and his passion for astronomy; and other fascinating individuals. Numerous pictures illuminate the stories, and extensive notes offer suggestions for further reading.
Lively, well-illustrated history of measuring the distance to the stars features fascinating historical characters, from ancient Greeks to 19th-century scientists. Will appeal to general readers and amateur and professional astronomers. 2002 edition.
This lively and entertaining history of the long struggle to measure the distance to the stars will appeal to general readers as well as to amateur and professional astronomers. Readers will encounter fascinating historical characters, from ancient Greeks to 19th-century scientists. Well illustrated, with contemporary pictures plus extensive notes on further reading. 2002 edition.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1 1. Reinventing the Cosmos 2. The Circle Game 3. What if the Sun Be Center to the World? 4. Crossed Eyes and Wobbling Stars Part 2 5. The Heavens Erupt 6. The Turbulent Lens 7. The Wrangler of Pisa 8. The Archimedean Engine 9. A Coal Cellar with a View 10. Double Vision Part 3 11. Dismal Swamp 12. The Twice-Built Telescope 13. Quest for Precision 14. So Many Grasshoppers 15. The Star in the Lyre 16. The Subtle Weave Epilogue Postscript Acknowledgments Notes and Further Reading Index