Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Astronomy and Science-related Book discussions

  • Please log in to reply
515 replies to this topic

#501 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8,435
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 11 January 2024 - 05:09 PM

Well...I got in contact with Joe Middleton from the Herschel Museum.  Unfortunately, that Herschel book is no longer available.  But he told me a new biography of John Herschel is being published by Cambridge University Press called The Cambridge Companion to John Herschel.  Says it should be available in February.

 

Available for pre-order on Amazon in hardback and paperback.


  • bbanicki and bumm like this

#502 bumm

bumm

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,504
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Iowa

Posted 11 January 2024 - 07:07 PM

Well...I got in contact with Joe Middleton from the Herschel Museum.  Unfortunately, that Herschel book is no longer available.  But he told me a new biography of John Herschel is being published by Cambridge University Press called The Cambridge Companion to John Herschel.  Says it should be available in February.

 

Available for pre-order on Amazon in hardback and paperback.

Well, NOW you did it.  You made me order one of these from Amazon at the pre-publication price of $29.99. I like hardcover books, but that thing's 90 dollars.  (ouch)

                                                                                                                                                                 Marty


  • BrentKnight and Sky King like this

#503 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8,435
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 11 January 2024 - 08:31 PM

Well, NOW you did it.  You made me order one of these from Amazon at the pre-publication price of $29.99. I like hardcover books, but that thing's 90 dollars.  (ouch)

                                                                                                                                                                 Marty

Yeah...I don't know why the hardback would be 3X as much.  Still debating which version I want.


  • bumm likes this

#504 bumm

bumm

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,504
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Iowa

Posted 11 January 2024 - 09:39 PM

Yeah...I don't know why the hardback would be 3X as much.  Still debating which version I want.

If there's much difference in the size of the print, I might regret getting the softcover one...  I guess I'll see.  But geez, ninety bucks for a NEW book...

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Marty



#505 WillR

WillR

    Mercury-Atlas

  • ****-
  • Posts: 2,814
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Stroudsburg, PA

Posted 11 January 2024 - 10:28 PM

Well...I got in contact with Joe Middleton from the Herschel Museum.  Unfortunately, that Herschel book is no longer available.  But he told me a new biography of John Herschel is being published by Cambridge University Press called The Cambridge Companion to John Herschel.  Says it should be available in February.

 

Available for pre-order on Amazon in hardback and paperback.

I see two editors and no author. What does that mean? I think I'll let you guys be the beta testers. Some of this writing can be so dry ( substitute bad) that it's practically unreadable. Now if it were by Dava Sobel.....



#506 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8,435
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 11 January 2024 - 10:55 PM

It appears to be a collection of essays from different authors.



#507 Sky King

Sky King

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,261
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 27 February 2024 - 05:15 PM

I took a break from buying books and actually got busy reading some of the backlog. I had started several but one night one book called to me off the shelf (figuratively):

 

The Immortal Fire Within by Sheehan.

 

I walked through the first 70 pages and I can see what all the fuss is about. Well written and documented, sad at parts and glorious elsewhere, it tells the story of E.E. Barnard's life. It is the inspiring story of one man's struggle, what it was like in the mid 1800's, what astronomy was like back then and the potential of an individual not satisfied with second best.

 

Einstein said that if anyone spends 15 minutes a day learning something new, in a year, he (or she) will be an expert; in 5 years, a national expert.

Clearly you could see this happening with E.E. Barnard, who put in considerable efforts.

 

Thomas Edison's said: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

They said E.E. Barnard never slept. (Maybe on the full Moons and Cloudy Nights?)

 

Clear Skies!


Edited by Sky King, 27 February 2024 - 06:14 PM.

  • scottinash, BillShort, BrentKnight and 1 other like this

#508 Physicsman

Physicsman

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 796
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2023
  • Loc: Cumbria, UK

Posted 27 February 2024 - 08:29 PM

I took a break from buying books and actually got busy reading some of the backlog. I had started several but one night one book called to me off the shelf (figuratively):

 

The Immortal Fire Within by Sheehan.

 

I walked through the first 70 pages and I can see what all the fuss is about. Well written and documented, sad at parts and glorious elsewhere, it tells the story of E.E. Barnard's life. It is the inspiring story of one man's struggle, what it was like in the mid 1800's, what astronomy was like back then and the potential of an individual not satisfied with second best.

 

Einstein said that if anyone spends 15 minutes a day learning something new, in a year, he (or she) will be an expert; in 5 years, a national expert.

Clearly you could see this happening with E.E. Barnard, who put in considerable efforts.

 

Thomas Edison's said: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

They said E.E. Barnard never slept. (Maybe on the full Moons and Cloudy Nights?)

 

Clear Skies!

 

I'm a bit of a William Sheehan fan, so probably biased, but I got a copy of The Immortal Fire Within last year and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

 

Not necessarily an easy read because of the comprehensive, scholarly nature of the book. But you can't help but admire Barnard, especially given the circumstances he was brought up in. His work ethic was incredible and heaven knows how few hours he slept every day!

 

To those considering the book - get a copy!


  • scottinash, Castor, BrentKnight and 1 other like this

#509 yuzameh

yuzameh

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,525
  • Joined: 13 Dec 2022

Posted 27 February 2024 - 08:41 PM

Well...I got in contact with Joe Middleton from the Herschel Museum.  Unfortunately, that Herschel book is no longer available.  But he told me a new biography of John Herschel is being published by Cambridge University Press called The Cambridge Companion to John Herschel.  Says it should be available in February.

 

Available for pre-order on Amazon in hardback and paperback.

If you like this sort of stuff then there's a similar tome just come out from OUP (Oxford University Press which didn't do much astronomy stuff but did use to pop out some chewy astrophysics and solar books once upon a time) on James Bradley who was Halley's successor as AR (thus the third such).

 

I know no more than this, I had just noticed it on some websearches from time to time, of which the best will likely be this

 

https://academic.oup.com/book/55341


  • BrentKnight and Sky King like this

#510 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8,435
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 27 February 2024 - 09:51 PM

If you like this sort of stuff then there's a similar tome just come out from OUP (Oxford University Press which didn't do much astronomy stuff but did use to pop out some chewy astrophysics and solar books once upon a time) on James Bradley who was Halley's successor as AR (thus the third such).

 

I know no more than this, I had just noticed it on some websearches from time to time, of which the best will likely be this

 

https://academic.oup.com/book/55341

I'm currently working my way through three heavy lifts... Observing by Hand, Victorian Popularizers of Science and The Bookseller of Florence.  I drive 2 hours each day to and from work and I listen to audiobooks (currently have Jay Kristoff's Godsgrave playing).  I would need another lifetime to read all the books I currently have - and I probably still have another 20 years or so to keep collecting.  I love the futility of trying to keep up with all the interesting books out there.



#511 WillR

WillR

    Mercury-Atlas

  • ****-
  • Posts: 2,814
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Stroudsburg, PA

Posted 30 March 2024 - 09:02 AM

Just finished reading American Eclipse by David Baron, appropriate as this year’s American eclipse draws near. What a great book, beautifully crafted and researched, a real page turner.

 

I follows a number of leading American astronomers and one very prominent non- astronomer leading up to and through the total eclipse of 1878. They all traveled to Wyoming and Colorado from the east coast to get into the path of totality.

 

Among them were Henry Draper, who was an early pioneer in photographic spectroscopy; Maria Mitchell, an astronomy professor at the very new Vassar College and an advocate for women’s rights; James Craig Watson, who was searching for the elusive planet Vulcan; and Cleveland Abbe, the first meteorologist for the newly minted National Weather Service, under the auspices of the Army Signal Core.

 

The prominent non-scientist was the already famous 31 year old Thomas Edison, who brought his recent invention, the tasimeter, to measure the heat from the corona. ( This invention never became a workable instrument due to the difficulty of calibrating it to a scale. Edison claimed it could measure differences in temperature down to a millionth of a degree Fahrenheit. It did indeed find heat in the corona, but the needle simple went to the end of the scale, providing no meaningful data.)

 

This eclipse is credited with beginning the ascent of American science into the forefront of the world scientific community by the 20th century. I highly recommend this book.


  • scottinash, BillShort, BrentKnight and 1 other like this

#512 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8,435
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 30 March 2024 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for the review Will.  I know I grabbed this one a couple years ago (it's on my TBR list), but I just checked and its still on the shelf and so I won't be grabbing another one by accident.


  • scottinash and Sky King like this

#513 BillShort

BillShort

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 96
  • Joined: 06 Nov 2009
  • Loc: Corner Brook, Newfoundland,Canada

Posted 01 April 2024 - 01:35 PM

Thanks  WillR  Sounds like a great book,  I just ordered it,     Best wishes   Bill Short


  • scottinash likes this

#514 WillR

WillR

    Mercury-Atlas

  • ****-
  • Posts: 2,814
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Stroudsburg, PA

Posted 05 April 2024 - 10:23 AM

I just finished another great read that I can recommend. It is The Book Nobody Read by the late Owen Gingerich.

 

In 1970, Gingerich came across a first edition of the seminal text, De revolutionibus by Nicolaus Copernicus, the book that first proposed a heliocentric solar system and the book that got Galileo in hot water 80 years later. This copy, in the collection of the The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, was heavily annotated. In 1959, Arthur Koestler wrote The Sleepwalkers, in which be branded De revolutionibus "the book that nobody read". But clearly this copy had been read.

 

Stumbling on this copy got Gingerich, the research professor of astronomy at Harvard, wondering if in fact the book had been extensively read and started him on a 30 year quest to track down every extant first and second edition of De revolutionibus, eventually publishing his Annotated Census of Copernicus' De revolutionibus in 2002. On the way he became the leading authority in the world on these editions, in demand by auction houses, rare book sellers, and even the FBI and Interpol.

 

The Book Nobody Read is his memoir of this journey that took him all over the world, to all of Europe, behind the iron curtain to Poland and Russia, Africa, China, anywhere he could examine a copy first hand. He took copious notes and photos, and he became a handwriting expert as he identified copies that belonged to Kepler, Rheticus, Reinhold, Wittich, Brahe, and Galileo among others, as he established the provenance of the books he examined by the annotations in their margins. 

 

As the book jacket reads "Part autobiography, part scientific exploration, part bibliographic detective story, The Book Nobody Read recolors the history of cosmology and offers new appreciation of the enduring power of an extraordinary book and its ideas"

 

 


  • scottinash, Alex_V, BrentKnight and 3 others like this

#515 Physicsman

Physicsman

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 796
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2023
  • Loc: Cumbria, UK

Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for the review, Will.

 

I have a paperback copy of the book lurking in the bottom of my Amazon basket, put there a good while back when this volume was previously mentioned.

 

You've convinced me to "proceed to checkout"!


  • WillR likes this

#516 WillR

WillR

    Mercury-Atlas

  • ****-
  • Posts: 2,814
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2021
  • Loc: Stroudsburg, PA

Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for the review, Will.

 

I have a paperback copy of the book lurking in the bottom of my Amazon basket, put there a good while back when this volume was previously mentioned.

 

You've convinced me to "proceed to checkout"!

My work is finished here. grin.gif

 

I think I owed you at least one, with all the books you guys have enticed me to buy. I actually found the last two at my local library, which was a nice surprise.


  • Sky King likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics