Download E-books A Passion for the Planets: Envisioning Other Worlds, From the Pleistocene to the Age of the Telescope PDF

By William Sheehan

Astronomy is via some distance the most well-liked of the actual sciences, engaging sufficient to develop into an incredible cultural preoccupation for lots of, and for a few a captivating medical job which usually principles their lives. what's the nature of that doubtless unstoppable allure? during this energetic and compelling account, William Sheehan – expert psychiatrist, famous historian of astronomy, and incurable observer - explores the character of that attract throughout the tale of man's visible exploration of the planets.

In this quantity, the 1st of a trilogy, Sheehan starts off with observational astronomy’s profound and lasting impact on his personal lifestyles, environment the issues of embarkation for the adventure to return. He travels around the old panorama looking the earliest origins of man's compulsion to watch the planets one of the hunter gatherers of the higher palaeolithic, and strains the evolving tale from the planetary documents of the earliest towns, to Pharonic Egypt via to Hellenistic Greek astronomy culminating in Ptolemy. the need to become aware of performed its half within the perceptual adjustments wrought via the Copernican revolution, in addition to the observational advances accomplished by way of such amazing characters as Tycho along with his sharpest of eyes, and his sumptuous perform of overall astronomy. the 2 epochal advances released in 1609, either born via planetary commentary, specifically Kepler's discovery of the real nature of the orbit of Mars and Harriot and Galileo’s observations of the Moon, have a pivotal position during this account.

Sheehan weaves a wealthy tapestry of social and technological settings, patronage and personalities, gear and talents, cosmologies and objectives, explanations and compulsions to attempt to give an explanation for why we've got saw, and proceed to monitor, the planets.

The compelling textual content of A ardour for the Planets is stronger through the specifically commissioned planetary art of Julian Baum, himself son of a famous planetary observer and historian of planetary observers, and Randall Rosenfeld.

A ardour for the Planets could be of curiosity to all beginner astronomers; lively planetary observers; armchair astronomers; these attracted to the background of astronomy; the cultural historical past of technology; and astronomical art.

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