Cosmic Discoveries: The Wonders of Astronomy / Edition 1

Cosmic Discoveries: The Wonders of Astronomy / Edition 1

by David H. Levy, Wendee Wallach Levy, Wendee Wallach-Levy
     
 

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ISBN-10: 157392931X

ISBN-13: 9781573929318

Pub. Date: 10/01/2001

Publisher: Prometheus Books

For many millennia the starry night sky has been a source of wonder and awe to men and women who have tried to unravel the mystery of the billion distant lights that fill the heavens after dark. The story of the great discoverers who succeeded in explaining part of the mystery is told here with the joy and infectious enthusiasm that only a fellow discoverer can

Overview

For many millennia the starry night sky has been a source of wonder and awe to men and women who have tried to unravel the mystery of the billion distant lights that fill the heavens after dark. The story of the great discoverers who succeeded in explaining part of the mystery is told here with the joy and infectious enthusiasm that only a fellow discoverer can convey. David Levy, codiscoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, with his wife, Wendee Wallach-Levy, evokes that marvelous moment of "Eureka!" as he masterfully relates each story. He gives the reader a glimpse of the enthralling adventure of cosmic discovery through stories of the most famous and brilliant astronomers. Beyond their personal accomplishments, these scientists expanded all of humanity's understanding of the universe and our place within it.

Through Levy's unique perspective on cosmic discovery, he is able to connect his own personal life story with that of astronomers of the past and by extension with the history of the whole universe. As the codiscoverer of the spectacular comet that crashed into Jupiter, Levy formulated a whole new range of exciting questions about the universe: Do comets serve to transport the elements of life from one planet to the next? What is the evidence that a large comet once hit the earth? Will the earth someday be in danger of colliding with another such comet and will we have the technology to stop it?

This fascinating book will excite any of us who have stared at the night sky in awe and amazement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573929318
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
275
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments7
Foreword11
Preface: Year 2000: An Ancient Comet Returns13
1. 1842: To Sail beyond the Sunset: Portraits of Discovery17
2. 1965: Passport for Discovery26
3. 1572: Tycho Brahe: A Swashbuckling Astronomer37
4. 1610: Galileo and the Interpretation of Discovery47
5. 1632: Galileo and the Consequence of Discovery55
6. 1656: Christiaan Huygens: It Is Surrounded by a Ring63
7. 1682: Edmond Halley: Discovery by Calculation70
8. 1760: Charles Messier: The Comet Hunter of Cluny76
9. 1781: Caroline and William Herschel84
10. 1846: Adams, Leverrier, and the Scandal over Neptune94
11 1912: Henrietta Leavitt, Harlow Shapley, and Our Place in
the Milky Way Galaxy102
12. 1919: Eddington, Einstein, Mercury, and an Eclipse109
13. 1924: Edwin Hubble: The Man Who Defined the Universe118
14. 1930: Clyde Tombaugh and Pluto130
15. 1948: Bart Bok and His Globules142
16. 1951: The Milky Way Is a Spiral Galaxy151
17. 1963: Seyfert Galaxies and Quasars156
18 1979: Using a Galaxy as a Telescope: Gravitational Lenses
and EinsteinRings162
19 1993: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: Do Not Go Gentle into that
Good Night167
20. 1999: Finding Planets around Other Stars175
21. 1971: Acquainted with the Night: O'Meara and Summerfield187
22. 1988: Jean Mueller: Of Supernovae and Songs194
23. 2001: To Discover an Idea: The Cosmic Vision of Arthur C
Clarke200
Epilogue209
Notes211
Index225

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