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The Construction of the Heavens
William Herschel's Cosmology

$151.00 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107018389
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About the Authors
  • The astronomical observations of William Herschel (1738–1822) made him question the accepted model of the clockwork universe. This volume explains the development of Herschel's thoughts on what he called 'the construction of the heavens' and reprints his principal papers on this subject. The preliminary chapters provide an introduction to Herschel, including his unusual path to astronomy, the discovery of Uranus and his work on the evolution of stellar clusters, which eventually led him to challenge the unchanging Newtonian universe. The second half of the text comprises eight of Herschel's key papers on what we today would call cosmology, representing his progress between 1783 and 1814, fully annotated with historical notes and modern astrophysical explanations. Ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the history of science and in astronomy, this volume explains Herschel's pivotal role in the transformation from the clockwork universe to the 'biological' universe of modern astronomy.

    • Uses a two-part structure to induct the reader into Herschel's ideas before introducing his original papers
    • Reproduces eight of Herschel's papers, fully annotated with historical notes and modern astrophysical perspectives
    • Written by the world's foremost Herschel historian, drawing from sources unavailable fifty years ago
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[the author] does succeed in filling out the story of Herschel as more than just a the discoverer of a planet...Recommended." - C. Palma, Pennsylvania State University, CHOICE, Aug. 2012

    Customer reviews

    19th Sep 2017 by Alhinaaia

    I like this book i seach about it many time good to found it here

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107018389
    • length: 214 pages
    • dimensions: 252 x 180 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Herschel's Exploration of the Cosmos:
    1. The making of an astronomer
    2. Our neighbours among the stars
    3. The riddle of the nebulae: true nebulosity?
    4. The riddle of the nebulae: true nebulosity rejected
    5. The riddle of the nebulae: true nebulosity confirmed
    6. Retrospect: Herschel and the construction of the heavens
    Part II. Herschel's Cosmological Papers in Philosophical Transactions:
    7. 1783: 'On the proper motion of the sun and solar system'
    8. 1784: 'Observations tending to investigate the construction of the heavens'
    9. 1785: 'On the construction of the heavens'
    10. 1789: 'Remarks on the construction of the heavens'
    11. 1791: 'On nebulous stars'
    12. 1802: 'Remarks on the construction of the heavens'
    13. 1811: 'Observations relating to the construction of the heavens'
    14. 1814: 'Observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens'

  • Author

    Michael Hoskin, Churchill College, Cambridge
    Michael Hoskin has taught history of astronomy at the University of Cambridge throughout his career, and has authored four previous books on the Herschels. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Doggett Prizewinner of the American Astronomical Society and Jaschek Prizewinner of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture. In acknowledgement of his contribution to astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has named a minor planet Hoskin.

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