Non-Fiction Books:

Minding the Heavens

The Story of our Discovery of the Milky Way


Paperback / softback

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Minding the Heavens by Leila Belkora
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Today we are used to the idea that we live on a planet circling the sun, that our sun is just one of billions of stars in the galaxy we call the Milky Way. Yet as recently as the early 20th century the general public and even astronomers had vague and confused notions about what lay beyond the visible stars. This book is about how we discovered that we live in a galaxy, in fact a universe full of galaxies. This is the story of the discovery of our own and other galaxies and is told through the lives of seven astronomers; Thomas Wright, William Herschel, Wilhelm Struve, William Huggins, Jacobus Kapetyn, Harlow Shapely and Edwin Hubble. Each contributed greatly to our present understanding of where we live in the cosmos. Through the science and lives of these seven people, each shaped by their family, friends and contemporaries, we follow this amazing story of discovery. From the mid 1700's with Thomas Wright through to the mid 20th century with the more familiar names of Shapely and Hubble, each character bringing us nearer to our present understanding of the Universe.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2002
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Institute of Physics Publishing
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