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Understanding the heavens : thirty centuries of astronomical ideas from ancient thinking to modern cosmology

Author: Jean Claude Pecker
Publisher: Berlin ; New York : Springer, ©2001.
Series: Physics and astronomy online library.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Astronomy is the oldest and most fundamental of the natural sciences. From the early beginnings of civilization, astronomers have attempted to explain not only what the Universe is and how it works, but also how it started, how it evolved to the present day, and how it will develop in the future. The author, a well-known astronomer himself, describes the evolution of astronomical ideas, briefly discussing most of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jean Claude Pecker
ISBN: 3540631984 9783540631989 3642083250 9783642083259
OCLC Number: 43552493
Description: xiii, 597 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. Before the Classical Greek Period. 1.1. A General Overview of a Rapid Evolution. 1.2. Elementary Naked-Eye Astronomy. 1.3. Pre-Socratic Greek Astronomy and Cosmology --
2. Classical Greek Astronomy. 2.1. Plato's World. 2.2. Plato's Contemporaries: Eudoxus, Callippus. 2.3. Aristotle's World. 2.4. The Legacy of Plato and Aristotle. 2.5. The Heliocentric Systems. 2.6. Hipparchus and his Successors up to Ptolemy. 2.7. Eccentric and Epicycle Circles: The Ptolemaic Mechanisms. 2.8. The Earth, Sun, Moon, and Planets: Distances and Sizes. 2.9. The Precession of Equinoxes --
3. Ptolemy's Astronomy Questioned. 3.1. The Scientific Genealogy of Ptolemy. 3.2. The Church Fathers. 3.3. The Contribution of the Arabic World to Astronomical Knowledge. 3.4. The Western World up to Copernicus --
4. The Period of the Renaissance. 4.1. From 1450 to 1600: An Overview. 4.2. Copernicus and the Determination of Planetary Distances. 4.3. The Progress of the Observations; Tycho Brahe and the Nature of the Universe. 4.4. Kepler and the Death of Circularity. 4.5. Galileo, Physicist and Observer --
5. Dynamics Enters Astronomy: From Galileo to Newton. 5.1. Galilean Dynamics. 5.2. Francis Bacon in England. 5.3. The French School: Descartes and his Contemporaries. 5.4. Newton and Universal Gravitation. 5.5. The Triumph of Newton. 5.6. Appendix / Jean-Claude Pecker and Daniel Pecker --
Series Title: Physics and astronomy online library.
Responsibility: Jean-Claude Pecker ; edited by Susan Kaufman.
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Abstract:

"Astronomy is the oldest and most fundamental of the natural sciences. From the early beginnings of civilization, astronomers have attempted to explain not only what the Universe is and how it works, but also how it started, how it evolved to the present day, and how it will develop in the future. The author, a well-known astronomer himself, describes the evolution of astronomical ideas, briefly discussing most of the instrumental developments. Using numerous figures to elucidate the mechanisms involved, the book starts with the astronomical ideas of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian philosophers, moves on to the Greek period, and then to the golden age of astronomy, i.e. to Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, and ends with modern theories of cosmology. Written with undergraduate students in mind, this book gives a fascinating survey of astronomical thinking."--BOOK JACKET.

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From the reviews: "The wide scope of this book is indicated by the cover photographs, showing Stonehenge and the Hubble Space Telescope. It deals with the astronomical ideas of the Egyptian and Read more...

 
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