- Paperback: 431 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 6 edition (July 29, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521291801
- ISBN-13: 978-0521291804
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Textbook on Spherical Astronomy 6th Edition
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This new revision of a standard work gives a general but comprehensive introduction to positional astronomy. Useful for researchers as well as undergraduates.
Top customer reviews
Written by William Marshall Smart, a prominent British professor of astronomy and a prolific writer on the subject, it covers almost all aspects of positional astronomy, including the geometry of the celestial sphere, co-ordinate systems, measurement of time, precession, nutation, aberration, reduction of astronomical photographs, and even eclipses and occultations. Written in Smart's pedantic but eminently readable style, it is easily consumed in a few days or even hours by anyone with a working knowledge of college algebra, trigonometry, and elementary calculus. No other work on the subject has surpassed it for clarity and rigor. Consider that another of Smart's books, "Celestial Mechanics" (Longmans, 1953; reprinted 1960), is so revered that it now sells for several hundred dollars or more on the used book market (despite its rather common availability).
After Smart's death in 1975, revisions for "Spherical Astronomy" were undertaken by R. Green (author of a separate book on the subject) in order to keep it up-to-date with current astronomical practice, mainly in the area of accurate timekeeping in the face of the variable rate of rotation of the earth.
A classic little book whose reading (and re-reading) is like sipping a fine old Claret from the wine cellar.