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The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History Hardcover – September 25, 1992
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'The essays are beguiling and well written ... well worth reading and the book will bring them to a wider audience ...' Nature
'It is anecdotal and eminently readable, but underneath its racy and unstructured exterior it makes some strong historical points with authority that such popular writing usually lacks.' The Times Literary Supplement
' ... potential readers should be warned that ... this book is difficult to put down ... a book to read, to dip into in odd moments, to use for reference; above all, it is a book to enjoy.' Contemporary Physics
The Great Copernicus Chase describes 36 incidents drawn from the history of astronomy. The chapters range from Stonehenge and ancient Egypt, to the Great Comet of 1965, and to Albert Einstein. In this series of articles, arranged roughly chronologically, Professor Gingerich covers all the important periods and developments in a book that is generously illustrated throughout.
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But that information is thorough, clearly explained, and scholarly. There are high quality illustrations with detailed captions. It's printed on heavy coated stock, a keeper.
For example, consider Chapter 17 titled "Fake astrolabes." Gingerich explains how astrolabes work and shows detailed photographs of several. He points out what distinguishes a genuine from a fake. Finally, he offers suggestions for further reading. It's about 6-1/2 pages in length (this chapter) and can be read in 10 minutes. But if you were considering purchasing an "old" astrolabe, it could save you hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars. I tried searching the internet for comparable information, unsuccessfully.
Other chapters deal with subjects like: the zodiac, Stonehenge, Islamic astronomy, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, comets, eclipse paths, nebula, planets, the Milky Way, and Einstein.
One good way to judge somebody is to see what they say about something you (think) you know something about. Gingerich always adds new insight to topics that I thought I was familiar with already. One of my favorite examples is the cola-can universe when discussing Stonehenge. Read it for yourself!