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The Romance of the Sky; the Story of Star-gazing and Star-tracing, being an Introduction to the Study of Astronomy

Nature volume 78, page 5 (07 May 1908) | Download Citation



MR. GRIFFITH has undertaken to tell his story through the mouth of a mythical amateur astronomer, condemned to live through all the phases of astronomical science from pre-Ptolemaic days to the present. The method naturally introduces a great deal of reading matter that is not astronomy, but for non-astronomical readers the result, thus diluted, should prove of interest. A talk with Ptolemy, the enunciation of his great theory by Copernicus himself, the unfortunate reaction which delayed astronomical progress for centuries, and the final clearing of the mists by Kepler's results, occupy the first twenty pages. Then in rapid sequence Galileo, Newton, Halley, Herschel, and other notabie workers in astronomy are interviewed, the volume concluding with discourses on the making of. present-day observations and the deductions arising therefrom. The book is good, in parts, and the glossary of astronomical terms.(chapter xxiv.), together with the excellent index, should not prove the least interesting or instructive to the beginner.

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