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The Elements of Descriptive Astronomy

Nature volume 92, page 475 (25 December 1913) | Download Citation



THIS little book may profitably be placed in the hands of boys beginning to take an intelligent interest in the heavens. Facts are given mostly with accuracy, and stated clearly in simple phrasing. There are many half-tone reproductions of interesting celestial photographs, and the text is helped by numerous instructive line diagrams. We may mention No. 13, which excellently explains the different noonday altitudes of the sun at summer and winter solstices. Efforts are made throughout to lead the reader to observe and think. A feature of the book consists in a small collection of quotations of an astronomial character for the reader to explain. There are some blemishes which may perhaps be remedied in another edition. Thus the bulk of Saturn is incorrectly “deduced,” and its aplatissement is much greater than that of Jupiter; also, eight significant figures are misleading when employed in expressing the distance from the earth to the nearest fixed star; and Praesepe might be mentioned as suitable for observation with a small telescope.

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