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Grundriss der theoretischen Astronomie und der Geschichte der Planetentheorien

Nature volume 70, pages 267268 (21 July 1904) | Download Citation



THE title of this work is too comprehensive; an outline of theoretical astronomy might be expected to touch at least gravitational theory, even if other physical sections were omitted. Prof. Frischauf's work—the first edition of which appeared in 1871—is engaged almost exclusively with the geometrical problem of finding an orbit from observation, and with a detailed history of Kepler's search for the true form of a planet's orbit. It is intended as an introduction, and is not ambitious for completeness; indeed, it omits many things a student might well be told, which would not have broken its attractive readable quality. For example, there are many better approximations for, solution of Kepler's problem than that given on p. 6, and the well known graphical solution with the help of the curve of sines is not mentioned; this should not be omitted, for it is a method of real utility, and with proper care can be worked, as Bauschinger says, with an error not exceeding a tenth of a degree.

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