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The History of Astronomy

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Packed with color photographs, this comprehensive reference chronicles the history of astronomy.

This extraordinary book traces humans' interaction with the endless wonders of the night sky. The authors, both expert astronomers, researched 29 locations worldwide, from Beijing's ancient observatory to the observatory in Puerto Rico that searches for alien radio signals. They
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 28th 2009 by Firefly Books (first published 2007)
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Aries Eroles
May 03, 2013 Aries Eroles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astronomy is one of the oldest realms of Science. But its association with Astrology, a word which may sounds similar but quiet different in sense, humble its progress throughout the ages until the time of the first telescope. We often heard that the people of the antiquity look up the sky for directions from the distant sea to home. Not only that the sky beacons as their guide, but the people in the past consult the sky to learn when it is the perfect time for planting crops when they stop to b ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Subowal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since the dawn of civilization, maybe much earlier, humans have looked at the patterns in the sky and wondered if they contain a message for them. The effect of the Sun was pretty obvious - life could not exist without it, and seasonal variations in the strength of its brightness and length of the day had important consequences for agricultural societies. The moon, on the other hand, was like a celestial timekeeper - going through the same cycle of phases over and over again. Eventually the majo ...more
Brian Clegg
Feb 14, 2012 Brian Clegg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the sciences, astronomy is probably the one that most often grabs us when we're young. If you want hands on experience of particle physics or cell biology you need to be in a lab. To get practical experience of astronomy all you've got to do is go out on a dark night. I think this explains the enduring appeal of the BBC's The Sky of Night programme. It's years since I watched it regularly, but I've only got to catch the opening of that theme music to get a lump in my throat. Astronomy has ...more
3.5 stars.

Kind of like the "Short History of Nearly Everything" of astronomy. The balance of science to biography/history is something like 30% to 70%. I was hoping for a bit more of the hard science, but I guess this book is chasing more of a general audience. The fact that this book is 240 pages and has no diagrams, footnotes/endnotes, or bibliography, should tell you what kind of book this is.

There were a few things that annoyed me about the presentation of the book. Firstly, the authors are
Britty Kitty
Mar 22, 2014 Britty Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2014challenge
I thought it was a pretty good summary. It had the possibility of being dull, but I feel like the authors did a good job at keeping it interesting.

The authors noted they were inspired partly by Isaac Asimov's "The Universe" so I've pulled that off my bookshelf to read next.

Literally my biggest gripe with this book was I accidently gave myself really deep paper cuts about 5 times because the glossy pages are such high quality, that the ends are very sharp! Pretty much everytime I opened this book
Aug 21, 2013 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest present a very approachable and compelling overview of astronomy and help explain how we got where we are today. The History of Astronomy looks like a college text book at first glance. But don't let it intimidate you. Once you crack it open, it is very hard to put down. Couper and Henbest successfully present the history of astronomy in layman's terms and do an excellent job de-mystifying a subject rife with mystery. I highly recommend The History of Astronomy t ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pictures alone are just about worth the price of the book. The graphics and illustrations are breathtaking, ranging from the remains of ancient civilizations at Stonehenge and Chaco Canyon to images taken by the Hubble telescope. The text nicely complements the visual component of the book: it’s a serviceable, readable introduction to, as the title says, the history of astronomy. Recommended.
Jan 02, 2013 Sin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the history of astronomy as seen by 2 British astronomers - Heater and Nigel.
The book is completely non-technically written so anyone who has the faintest interest in the subject can pick it up and read it in leisure hours. If you take into account the format and number of pictures you can even consider at a coffee-table book.
Although I would like to read a more technical book I think this one is great for the intended audience and would recommend it to anyone.
Aldana Al-Maadeed
Mar 31, 2013 Aldana Al-Maadeed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for those of you who are wondering about the history of Astronomy. It gives a very detailed yet very interesting stories about Astronomy and how it started, with humans wondering about the wonders of night sky and what is out there. It is also packed with beautiful photographs and illustrations. It is beautifully written by a two british astronomers. As I said this is a good read for those of you who are curious about the history of astronomy.
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