The transit of Venus : the brief, brilliant life of Jeremiah Horrocks, father of British astronomy /
Peter Aughton.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004.
xiii, 210 p. : ill. (some col.), facsims., geneal. tables, map ; 22cm.
029784721X :
More Details
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004.
029784721X :
general note
"A Windrush Press book."
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-204) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-03-01:
In 1632, 14-year-old Puritan Jeremiah Horrocks entered Cambridge University, where he found his life's passion--astronomy. In an era when astronomy consisted of either doing observations with the telescope or performing mathematical calculations, Horrocks became master of both. By 17, he was developing a theory of the moon's motion and eventually noted the elliptical shape of its orbit. He accurately measured positions of stars and planets with instruments and techniques of his own design, comparing his observations to the catalogs of the era, and noting where corrections were needed. His data showed the gravitational influence of Jupiter and Saturn on each other. Following an examination of Kepler's work and his own calculations, in 1639 he became the first man to see the transit of Venus across the sun. He was the first person to appreciate the true (large) scale of the solar system. His death in 1641 prevented publication until 1662. Newton recognized Horrocks's contributions in the Principia. Aughton tells Horrocks's story and the times in which he lived with a careful description of the man, the era, and the developing science of astronomy. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; faculty. M.-K. Hemenway University of Texas at Austin
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Choice, March 2005
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