- Series: The Silliman Memorial Lectures Series
- Paperback: 226 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300025009
- ISBN-13: 978-0300025002
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Realm of the Nebulae (The Silliman Memorial Lectures Series)
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In these lectures, Edwin Hubble focuses mainly on "nebulae" which is the Greek word for "clouds" and discusses how these nebulae are actually galaxies with distant stars like our own, not astronomical clouds as it was believed at and before the time of Hubble by quite a few. Having this be the case, he attempts to acquire information such as velocity-distance relationships along with trying to determine the distribution of nebulae and their corresponding sizes such as the diameters of complete galaxies. The best part about this work is the utility and discussion of light spectra and luminosities of these stars to get the distances of stars. Light and luminosities of stars can give Doppler shift relationships that will tell if a given galaxy is approaching (Violet-shift, for example, since violet is at a higher frequency in the light spectra) or expanding (red-shift, for example, since red has lower frequency in the light spectra). Hubble focused on the red-shifts, via spectrograms, since that is what he was able to detect and gave him what he was looking for. He makes plots or maps of clusters of nebulae to get a better visual of nebular distribution in the heavens.
The main thing to get from his lectures in the book is his assumptions and derivations that he uses in making the Doppler red-shift velocity-relationship which essentially constitutes Hubble's Law. Also, as mentioned earlier, his famous Hubble diagrams can be found here too along with his summary of his landmark 1929 paper. There are pictures of clusters in here too. It should be an interesting read for anyone interested in the methods of finding the distances and velocities of expansion that galaxies display.
How do we know how far a galaxy is? Hubble will tell you in these lectures. Also these lectures help give background lay a foundation for the research on the origin and expansion of the universe.
Here are the Chapter titles for those who are curious:
1. The Exploration of Space
2. Family Traits of Nebulae
3. The Distribution of Nebulae
4. Distances of Nebulae
5. The Velocity-Distance Relation
6. The Local Group
7. The General Field
8. The Realm of Nebulae
Though Hubble did not make the link between his data and the expansion of the universe, Hubble's discovery of the red-shifts helped in basically putting the eternal universe (a universe that always existed and had no origin), of the previous natural philosophers, to rest.
And cosmology would never be the same again.