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Finding the Speed of Light: The 1676 Discovery that Dazzled the World

Finding the Speed of Light: The 1676 Discovery that Dazzled the World


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Kirkus Star

Junior Library Guild Gold Selection

Mark Weston’s high-interest story and Rebecca Evans’s colorful graphics make scientific discovery the coolest thing this side of Jupiter.

More than two centuries before Einstein, using a crude telescope and a mechanical timepiece, Danish astronomer Ole Romer measured the speed of light with astounding accuracy. How was he able to do this when most scientists didn’t even believe that light traveled? Like many paradigm-shattering discoveries, Romer’s was accidental. Night after night he was timing the disappearance and reappearance of Jupiter’s moon Io behind the huge, distant planet. Eventually he realized that the discrepancies in his measurements could have only one explanation: Light had a speed, and it took longer to reach Earth when Earth was farther from Jupiter. All he needed then to calculate light’s speed was some fancy geometry.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780884485452
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Series: The History Makers Series
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 1,182,684
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

MARK WESTON graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in History; studied for a year at the London School of Economics; and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. He has been a lawyer for ABC Television and a journalist for ABC News. In 1991, Mark won enough money on TV’s Jeopardy! to start a company that makes geographical jigsaw puzzles for children, which he sold after three years. His history books include Giants of Japan and Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present. His children’s books include Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars.

REBECCA EVANS worked for nine years as an artist and designer before returning to her first love: children’s book illustration and writing. Her children’s books include Someday I’ll Fly; Friends in Fur Coats; The Good Things; The Shopkeeper’s Bear; Naughty Nana; Amhale in South Africa; Mei Ling in China; Tiffany in New York; Masterpiece Robot; and Finding the Speed of Light. She lives in Maryland with her husband and four young children, shares her love of literature and art regularly at elementary schools, teaches art at the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, and works from her home studio whenever time permits. Rebecca’s own boundless imagination enjoys free reign at

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