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The Immortal Fire Within: The Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard

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Overview

This first full-length biography of Edward Emerson Barnard tells the remarkable tale of endurance and achievement of one of the leading astronomers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As "a man who was never known to sleep", Barnard scoured the heavens endlessly, leaving an astonishing legacy of observations that make him one of the greatest observers of all time. This book traces Barnard's life from impoverished origins to status as an internationally recognized astronomer. His success as a professional astronomer unfolds in 1842 as he discovers the fifth satellite of Jupiter (the first since Galileo) and pioneers wide-angle photography of the Milky Way, which leads to the recognition of dark nebulae—clouds of dust on the galactic plane. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this book provides a complete history of Barnard's fascinating life and work, based largely on previously unpublished archival material, that will be of interest to astronomers and historians of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Barnard's achievments are remarkable, and with this biography William Sheehan has given us the first detailed account of Barnard's step-by-step journey toward scientific prominence....a well-written and meticulously researched biography that makes judicious use of voluminous archives. With its numerous photographs (including many of Barnard's own) it is a handsome and well-produced volume....this biography recounts an inspiring example of what one individual can accomplish with hard work and dedication, against all odds. It is a lesson that should not go unheeded by students or professionals, even in the era of big science." Steven J. Dick, Science

"...chock full of footnotes and contains an extensive bibliography. Sheehan's prose is eloquent and easily understandable to Astronomy readers. Barnard's photographs appear throughout, and Sheehan quotes frequently from Barnard's own papers. The Immortal Fire Within not only gives the reader a comprehensive overview of Barnard's life, but it also conveys a real feeling for what it was like to be an astronomer at the turn of the century, when the science was undergoing profound transformations." Robert Naeye, Astronomy

"...provides a complete history of Barnard's fascinating life and work, based largely on previously unpublished archival material, that will be of interest to astronomers and historians of science." Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

"...This is a gold mine for anyone with a taste for astronomy's historical highlights." New Scientist

"Amply illustrated, this book fills a gap in the astronomical literature. Although this work may be read by the general reader, amateur astronomers and college students could be inspired by Barnard's life and work. Strongly recommended..." K. Larsen, Choice

"A mastery of archival sources and a deft literary style, and the result is a biography the eny of professional historians." Ronald Kline, Isis

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521046015
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Key to abbreviations in notes; 1. Through rugged ways; 2. Ardent and faithful work with a telescope; 3. Mars; his moons and his heavens; 4. A seeker of comets; 5. Vanderbilt astronomer; 6. In the realm of the nebulae; 7. Go west, young man!; 8. Hanging fire; 9. On Mt. Hamilton; 10. A year of wonders; 11. The young rebel; 12. 'I am tired here'; 13. Immortality; 14. Travels and travails; 15. Barnard and Mars; 16. Nature's true artisan; 17. A tide in his affairs; 18. Yerkes observatory; 19. Disappointments and triumphs; 20. The comet and Milky Way photographs; 21. Comet tales; 22. Observer of all that shines - or obscures; 23. Eclipse and decline; 24. Ad astra; Index.

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