On Sunspots collects the correspondence that constituted the public debate, including the first English translation of Scheiner’s two tracts as well as Galileo’s three letters, which have previously appeared only in abridged form. In addition, Albert Van Helden and Eileen Reeves have supplemented the correspondence with lengthy introductions, extensive notes, and a bibliography. The result will become the standard work on the subject, essential for students and historians of astronomy, the telescope, and early modern Catholicism.
Eileen Reeves is professor of comparative literature at Princeton University. Albert Van Helden is professor of the history of science at the University of Utrecht and the translator of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
There are innumerable planets revolving around innumerable stars across our galaxy. Between 2009 and 2018, NASA's Kepler space telescope discovered thousands of them. But exoplanets—planets outside the solar system—appeared in science fiction before they appeared in telescopes. Astronomers in the early decades of the twentieth century spent entire careers searching for planets in other stellar systems. In The Lost Planets, John Wenz offers an account of the pioneering astronomer Peter van de Kamp, who was one of the first to claim discovery of exoplanets.
Van de Kamp, working at Swarthmore College's observatory, announced in 1963 that he had identified a planet around Barnard's Star, the second-closest star system to the Sun. He cited the deviations in Barnard's star's path—“wobbles” that suggested a large object was lurching around the star. Van de Kamp became something of a celebrity (appearing on a television show with “Mr. Wizard,” Don Henry), but subsequent research did not support his claims. Wenz describes van de Kamp's stubborn refusal to accept that he was wrong, discusses the evidence found by other researchers, and explains recent advances in exoplanet detection, including transit, radial velocity, direct imaging, and microlensing.
Van de Kamp retired from Swarthmore in 1972, and died in 1995 at 93. In 2009, Swarthmore named its new observatory the Peter van de Kamp Observatory. In the 1990s, astronomers discovered and confirmed the first planet outside our solar system. In 2018, an exoplanet was detected around Barnard's Star—not, however, the one van de Kamp thought he had discovered in 1963.
Big and Bright: A History of the McDonald Observatory is the story of a remarkable collaboration between two major universities, one a prestigious private school, the other a growing southwestern state institution. The University of Chicago had astronomers, but its Yerkes Observatory was aging and underfunded; the University of Texas had money for an observatory but no working astronomer to staff it. Out of their mutual need, they formed a thirty-year compact for a joint venture. Unusual in its day, the Yerkes-McDonald connection presaged the future. In this arrangement, one can see some of the beginnings of today's consortium "big science."
Now the McDonald Observatory's early history can be put in proper perspective. Blessed with a gifted and driving founding director, the world's (then) second-largest telescope, and an isolation that permitted it to be virtually the only major astronomical observatory that continued operations throughout World War II, the staff of McDonald Observatory helped lay the foundations of modern astrophysics during the 1940s. For over a decade after the war, a lonely mountaintop in West Texas was the mecca that drew nearly all the most important astronomers from all over the world.
Based on personal reminiscences and archival material, as well as published historical sources, Big and Bright is one of the few histories of a major observatory, unique in its focus on the human side of the story.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Galileo’s life and works
* New introductions, specially written for this collection, by Professor Kenneth Richard Seddon, OBE (QUILL, The Queen’s University of Belfast)
* Features Galileo’s major works, with individual contents tables
* Images of how the books were first published, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Features four biographies - discover Galileo’s intriguing life
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
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THE STARRY MESSENGER
LETTER TO THE GRAND DUCHESS CHRISTINA
DISCOURSE ON FLOATING BODIES
DIALOGUE CONCERNING THE TWO CHIEF WORLD SYSTEMS
DISCOURSES AND MATHEMATICAL DEMONSTRATIONS RELATING TO TWO NEW SCIENCES
LIFE OF GALILEO by Sir David Brewster
THE TRIAL OF GALILEO by A. Mézières
GALILEO by Robert S. Ball
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY: GALILEO GALILIEI
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Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, Death by Black Hole explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.