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Great Astronomers Hardcover – Nov 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Indypublish.Com (November 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141421734X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414217345
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,565,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Sir Robert Stawell Ball F.R.S. (1 July 1840, Dublin – 25 November 1913, Cambridge) was an Irish astronomer. He worked for Lord Rosse from 1865 to 1867. In 1867 he became Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin. In 1874 Ball was appointed Royal Astronomer of Ireland and Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin at Dunsink Observatory. In 1892 he was appointed Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at Cambridge University at the same time becoming director of the Cambridge Observatory. His lectures, articles and books (e.g. Starland and The Story of the Heavens) were mostly popular and simple in style. However, he also published books on mathematical astronomy such as A Treatise on Spherical Astronomy. His main interest was mathematics and he devoted much of his spare time to his "Screw theory". He served for a time as President of the Quaternion Society. His work The Story of the Heavens is mentioned in the "Lestrygonians" chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses. He was the son of naturalist Robert Ball and Amelia Gresley Hellicar. He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, with his wife Lady Francis Elizabeth Ball. Their children were: Frances Amelia, Robert Steele, William Valentine (later Sir), Mary Agnetta, Charles Rowan Hamilton, and Randall Gresley (later Colonel). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e4b1318) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e68bea8) out of 5 stars history of astronomy Feb. 17 2012
By Mei - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was written in 1895, the printed edition has 271 pages (and has illustrations, which the e-book doesn't). At the moment of writing the author was Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at the University of Cambridge. In this book the lives of 18 astronomers are discribed, some of them are known to everyone, but some are not so generally known. The book starts with an introduction of a few pages on the history of astronomy.

A list of the astronomers featured in this book:


To give an idea of the content and style of writing I copy the first two phrases of the first astronomer featured in this book, Ptolemy:

The career of the famous man whose name stands at the head of this
chapter is one of the most remarkable in the history of human
learning. There may have been other discoverers who have done more
for science than ever Ptolemy accomplished, but there never has been
any other discoverer whose authority on the subject of the movements
of the heavenly bodies has held sway over the minds of men for so
long a period as the fourteen centuries during which his opinions
reigned supreme.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of astronomy or science, and of course to everybody who is interested in any of the astronomers depicted in this book. I did find the manner in which this book was written quite dull and lifeless ('2-stars'), but because of the information it gives (worth '4-stars') I give it a '3-star' review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed511f8) out of 5 stars Great Astronomers Amazon Kindle Jan. 12 2012
By FFFoster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book fascinating covering 2000 years in the history of astronomy, and I enjoyed the rather quaint 19th century writing style. It explained the physics very well so that I was able to understand better such phenomena as the movements of heavenly bodies and the effects of their gravity however small, the precession of the equinoxes, the invention of the calculus. The discovery of Neptune was an amazing story. Knowledge was gradually accumulated over the centuries due to the hard work, dedication - often lifelong - and brilliance of these astronomers. Their biographies were most interesting as well. Over the last 110 years since this book was written our knowledge has increased exponentially.
HASH(0x9ed51420) out of 5 stars Great collection of small biographies, for astronomers and history lovers Nov. 2 2014
By Molocrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent history of astronomy based on the main persons involved. Well written, very good information. A must for astronomy and history lovers.
HASH(0x9ed51318) out of 5 stars Good for detail and insight for the history of these early astronomers Dec 16 2015
By Rich Lite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting info about the early astronomers, their successes, and their personal lives. A bit wordy at times but enjoyable all the same.
HASH(0x9ed51510) out of 5 stars Very interesting reading Feb. 20 2015
By joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a very well put together book with outstanding references to the most important people in astronomy up to the time of the book.