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Volume 4 of The General History of Astronomy, originally published in 1984, concerns the birth of modern astrophysics in the nineteenth century, the growth of astronomical institutions to around 1920, and the development of instrumentation. The volume commences in the 1850s, with the first astronomical applications of photography and spectral analysis. It closes in the 1950s, before the explosive growth made possible by new electronic devices and computers. In Part A, there are eleven chapters, written by an international panel of eighteen authors, on subjects such as observatories, large telescopes, astronomy in the southern hemisphere, and early radio astronomy. Intended for general readership, this book formed part of an in-depth synthesis of the development of astronomy from the earliest times.
Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. The Birth of Astrophysics and Other Late Nineteenth-Century Trends (c.1850-c.1920); 1. The origins of astrophysics A. J. Meadows; 2. The impact of photography on astronomy John Lankford; 3. Telescope building, 1850-1900 Albert Van Helden; 4. The new astronomy A. J. Meadows; 5. Variable stars Helen Sawyer Hogg; 6. Stellar evolution and the origin of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram David DeVorkin; Part II. Observatories and Instrumentation: 7. Astronomical institutions. Introduction Owen Gingerich, Greenwich Observatory Philip S. Laurie, Paris Observatory Jacques Lévy, Pulkovo Observatory Aleksandr A. Mikhailov, Harvard College Observatory Howard Plotkin, United States Naval Observatory Deborah Warner, Lick Observatory Trudy E. Bell, Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory Dieter B. Herrmann; 8. Building large telescopes, 1900-1950 Albert Van Helden; 9. Astronomical institutions in the southern hemisphere, 1850-1950 David S. Evans; 10. Twentieth-century instrumentation Charles Fehrenbach, with a section on 'Early rockets in astronomy' Herbert Friedman; 11. Early radio astronomy Woodruff T. Sullivan III; Appendix: The world's largest telescopes, 1850-1950 Barbara L. Welther; Illustrations: acknowledgements and sources; Index.