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This collection brings together twenty-eight of noted astronomer Donald Fernie's best "Marginalia" columns from American Scientist magazine. Published between 1985 and the present (and updated as necessary), the articles focus on the history of astronomy, bringing to life many of the finest minds who have sought to explain what we observe in the night sky. Written in an engaging style, these tales of discovery will be of interest to the general reader as well as those with a science background.
Fernie recounts the remarkable human adventures, struggles, and follies behind some well-known and lesser-known scientific conquests of past centuries, such as the contentious discovery of Neptune and the misguided search for Vulcan, a proposed planet between the Sun and Mercury. Several of the articles focus on the characters themselves, such as Edmond Halley of Halley's comet fame, or the obscure Jeremiah Horrocks, who made the first realistic determination of the distance between the sun and the earth, and preceded Newton in suggesting the existence of an attractive force now known as gravity.
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Now retired, J. DONALD FERNIE was the founder of the astronomy department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the former chair of the University of Toronto's astronomy department and past director of its David Dunlap Observatory. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1972 and is an affiliate of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of the Whisper and the Vision: The Voyages of the Astronomers and has been a contributing writer to American Scientist magazine for nearly two decades.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"I hope that somewhere along the line I get to see a comet that really turns me on. Things haven't gone well so far. True, when the comet of the century is announced every few years I dash out to the backyard and stare through my binoculars like everyone else, but even when I actually succeed in finding the damn thing I'm never really overcome by much more than ennui. . . Anyway, I see we're off again after the latest comet of the century. It involves nothing less than 'what may well become the largest campaign in the history of modern astronomy.' Moreover, 'the event could have been the most spectacular astronomical event ever to be witnessed in the heavens during recorded history.' (Comet people talk like that.)"- from Setting Sail for the Universe
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Book Description Rutgers University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand new. Prompt despatch. Orders despatched on the same or next working day. Seller Inventory # mon0000074494
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Book Description Rutgers University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0813530881