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Hardcover Celestial Treasury: From the Music of the Spheres to the Conquest of Space Book

ISBN: 0521800404

ISBN13: 9780521800402

Celestial Treasury: From the Music of the Spheres to the Conquest of Space

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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Book Overview

Throughout history, the mysterious dark skies above us have inspired our imaginations in countless ways, influencing our endeavours in science and philosophy, religion, literature and art. Celestial... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Big and beautiful

This is such a book as would have the most hardened reviewer reaching for the overworked superlatives. Impressive in size and sumptuous in production, for what is actually quite a reasonable price in present-day terms, it contrives to set forth much of the aesthetic attraction of astronomy both ancient and modern.The authors have marshalled a stunning array of historical and modem imagery under the general headings of "The harmony of the world", "Uranometry", "Cosmogenesis", and "Creatures of the sky". Not the least of its virtues is that as the original edition was jointly published by the Bibliothèque Nationale, the authors have been able to obtain readier access to the treasures of that institution than many other researchers find possible.Many of the illustrations from conventional astronomical rare books are familiar, though the hand-colouring of different copies makes a fascinating comparison, but others are less so - apart from the unique manuscript sources, the authors have made appropriate use of decorative embossed book covers, illustrations from l9th and 2Oth century books, especially early science fiction, early space art and even comic books. It can be a trifle disconcerting to find, for example, a modern map of the cosmic microwave background radiation juxtaposed with a l4th century manuscript, but such comparisons can be quite reasonable as long as they are not taken too literally.Although the innumerable illustrations are the most prominent feature of the book, the authors' impeccable credentials as high officials of the CNRS and as successful popularizers of astronomy lend the text authority and style. The authors have carefully described the significance of the thought behind the historic images, and the whole book will make a marvellous crib for captions and exhibitions, as well as being ideal fodder for picture researchers. The whole book is a striking demonstration that the most valuable use of historical imagery is to provide an accessible entry point to the subject; such beautiful images, intelligently explained, can engage the interest and commitment of the mathematically challenged in a way that the Schwarzschild Radius or the Chandrasekhar Limit will never do. A book that anybody with the slightest interest in the subject would be delighted to find .

Wonderfully enhanced with 380 full-color illustrations

Celestial Treasury: From The Music Of The Spheres To The Conquest Of Space is an impressive coffee-table book surveying the history of man's exploration of the stars. The informative and engaging text is wonderfully enhanced with 380 full-color illustrations as the reader is treated to a full spectrum history of astronomy from antiquity down to the present day. Along the way such questions are addressed as how philosophers and scientists approach explaining the order that governs celestial motions; how geometers and artists measure and map the skies; when and how the Earth came into being; who inhabits the heaves; and more. Celestial Treasury is especially recommended as a "Memorial Gift" acquisition for both academic and community library astronomy and history of science collections.
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