Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe

Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe

by Alan Hirshfeld

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934137789
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 212,911
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alan Hirshfeld, Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and an Associate of the Harvard College Observatory, received his undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Princeton and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Yale. He is the author of Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos, The Electric Life of Michael Faraday , and Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes . He is a regular book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal and has contributed to Sky & Telescope , the American Journal of Physics, BBC History Magazine , and American Scientist . He has made radio and television appearances on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN and lectures nationwide about science history and discovery.

Table of Contents

Introduction 13

Part I Picturing the Heavens 19

1 True Eye and Faithful Hand 21

2 The Ingenious Mechanic of Dorchester 29

3 Writing with Light 40

4 Summits of Silver 54

5 The Man with the Oil-Can 65

6 The Evangelists 76

7 The Aristocrat and the Artisan 86

8 Passion Is Good, Obsession Is Better 96

9 From Closet to Cosmos 112

10 Leaves of Glass 120

11 The Grandest Failure 132

12 An Uncivil War 144

Part II Seeing the Light 153

13 The Odd Couple 155

14 What's My Line? 163

15 Laboratories of Light 173

16 Deconstructing the Sun 186

17 A Strange Cryptography 194

18 Trumpets and Telescopes 208

19 Burn This Note 217

20 A Spectacle of Suns 230

21 The Cloud That Wasn't There 237

22 The Union of Two Astronomies 247

Part III Money, Mirrors, and Madness 257

23 Mr. Hale of Chicago 259

24 The Universe in the Mirror 274

25 Threads to a Web 285

26 Size Matters 299

27 A Night to Remember 311

28 Oculis Subjecta Fidelibus 320

Epilogue 331

References 335

Appendices 346

Time Line 346

Glossary of Names 349

Bibliography 353

Acknowledgments 380

Illustration Sources and Permissions 381

Index 383

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Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
greatbooksreader More than 1 year ago
I gave this book to my husband, a retired astronomer, for his birthday. His reading generally consists of scientific journals and military history journals. He started this book, finished it in a few days and found it fascinating. As I have an interest in the history of astronomy, I will probably read it as well. Hirshfeld did a great job with this book.