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The Race to Measure the Cosmos (Dover Books on Astronomy)

Alan W. Hirshfeld


List Price: 19.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (1/1/2001)


"Astronomy is a foundation stone in our self-image as a species, and Parallax does an outstanding job showing us how that stone was laid." -- San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Compelling? Try kidnapping, mudslinging, and despair, all in the name of the stars." -- Kansas City Star
"A tale of science at its best." -- The Boston Globe
This lively history of the struggle to measure the distance to the stars introduces a memorable cast of historical figures, from ancient Greeks to nineteenth-century scientists. Characters include an impoverished boy, plucked from a collapsed building to become the greatest telescope maker in the world; a hot-tempered Dane who loses his nose in a duel over mathematics; a merchant's apprentice, forced to choose between a lucrative career and his passion for astronomy; and other fascinating individuals. Numerous pictures illuminate the stories, and extensive notes offer suggestions for further reading.

Dover Publications, 9780486490939, 316pp.

Publication Date: September 19, 2013

About the Author

Alan W. Hirshfeld, an award-winning astronomer at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, earned his undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Princeton and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Yale. He is a coauthor of "Sky Catalogue 2000.0," a two-volume astronomical reference book, and a past winner of a Griffith Observatory/Hughes Aircraft Company national science writing award. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.