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Investigating the origin of the asteroids and early findings on Vesta : historical studies in asteroid research

Author: Clifford J Cunningham
Publisher: Cham, Switzerland : Springer, [2017] ©2017
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This book assesses the origin of asteroids by analyzing the discovery of Vesta in 1807. Wilhelm Olbers, who discovered Vesta, suggested that the asteroids were the result of a primordial planet's explosion. Cunningham studies that idea in detail through the writings of Sir David Brewster in Scotland, the era's most prolific writer about the asteroids. He also examines the link between meteorites and asteroids,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Printed edition:
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Clifford J Cunningham
ISBN: 9783319581187 331958118X
OCLC Number: 1004563620
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Exordium ; Preface; Acknowledgements; Contents; Chapter 1: Olbers' Hypothesis: The Origin of the Asteroids; A Very Romantic Idea; The Truths of Science; Meteorites: No Hypothesis Is Too Bold; The Link Between Comets and Asteroids; An Utter Impossibility; The Opinions of the Great Observers: Schroeter, Zach, Oriani and Herschel; Laplace and the Art of Persuasion; Lagrange: A Complete Hypothesis of the Origin of the Solar System; Invoking Electricity to Bolster Olbers' Hypothesis; A Chimerical Fancy; The Planetary Wreck; The Sun: Originator and Destroyer; Subversive Asteroids. A Great and Sublime Mystery Reuniting the Asteroids; The Primordial Planet and the Shapes of the Asteroids; Did Humans See the Primordial Planet?; Sisters of the Same Age; The Nest of a Bird; Chapter 2: Regnér's Attacks on Olbers' Hypothesis; The 1803 Treatise; The Cometary Collision Hypothesis; The 1806 Treatise; Chapter 3: Brewster's Support for Olbers' Hypothesis; The Destruction of Harmony in the Solar System; Beyond the Grasp of the Most Refined Analysis; The Density of the Asteroids; The Spider's Most Attenuated Threads; Miserable Little Fragments or Planets? The Atmospheres of the Asteroids The Five Asteroids of 1811; A Deduction Most Wonderfully Confirmed; Geology: The First Chapter of Astronomy; A Standing Rebuke to Reason; Chapter 4: The Discovery of Vesta; The Pursuit of the Game; Share My Happiness with Me!; Olbers: The Favorite of the Heavens; Who Observed Vesta First?; The Crown of Astronomy; Four Is Not Enough; Olbers' Daughter; The Origin of Vesta; The Celestial Railroad; Herschel's Study of Vesta; Physical Properties; The Color of Vesta; Orbital Properties; The Elements Junonium and Vestium; The Magnitude of Vesta. How the Public Learned About VestaChapter 5: Vesta: A Self-Luminous Asteroid?; A State of Combustion; A Ghastly Yellowish Rim; Lustrous Facets; Chapter 6: Asteroids and the Language of Nature; Wonderful Phenomena; The Intellectual Landscape and the Power of Prediction; Diameter Measurements; Integrating the Asteroids; Comparative Physical Properties; Symbols of the Asteroids; Ceres; Pallas; Juno; Vesta; Satellites of Asteroids; A Philippic Against the Nautical Almanac; The Berlin Ephemeris; Absurd Little Heavenly Bodies; Chapter 7: The Perturbations of Vesta. Burckhardt's Perturbation Work in 1807 Daussy's Perturbation Work from 1813 to 1818; Encke's Perturbation Work from the 1830s to the 1850s; Groombridge and Moseley; Chapter 8: Letters: Olbers-Gauss; Chapter 9: Letters: Bessel-Olbers-Bode-Gauss; Chapter 10: Letters: Groombridge-Maskelyne-Herschel; Chapter 11: Schroeter's Asteroid Books; The Origin of the Asteroids; Observations and Measurements of the Planet Vesta; Observations of the Asteroid-Planet Vesta; Chapter 12: Scientific Papers; Observations on the Nature of the New Celestial Body Discovered by Dr. Olbers.
Responsibility: Clifford J. Cunningham.

Abstract:

"This book assesses the origin of asteroids by analyzing the discovery of Vesta in 1807. Wilhelm Olbers, who discovered Vesta, suggested that the asteroids were the result of a primordial planet's explosion. Cunningham studies that idea in detail through the writings of Sir David Brewster in Scotland, the era's most prolific writer about the asteroids. He also examines the link between meteorites and asteroids, revealing a synergy between Ernst Chladni, Romantic symbolism, and the music of the spheres. Vesta was a lightning rod for controversy throughout the nineteenth century with observers arguing over its size and color, and the astounding notion that it was self-luminous. It was also a major force for change, as new methods in the field of celestial mechanics were developed to study the orbital perturbations it is subject to. A large selection of private correspondence and scientific papers complete the first comprehensive historical study of Vesta ever published. With a synoptic look at the four asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta, Cunningham provides a valuable resource on asteroid origins and explains how they were integrated into the newly revealed solar system of the early nineteenth century."--

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