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The Georgian star : how William and Caroline Herschel revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos

by Lemonick, Michael D., 1953-

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction QB35.L36 2009
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  QB35.L36 2009
Trainedas a musician, amateur scientist William Herschel foundinternational fame after discovering the planet Uranus in 1781.Together with his sister Caroline, he pioneered comprehensivesurveys of the night sky, carefully categorising every visibleobject in the void. The Georgian Star guides readersthrough the depths of the solar system and into theprotagonists? private lives. Erudite and accessible, TheGeorgian Star is a lively portrait of the pair who inventedmodern astronomy.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Lemonick's biography of William (1738-1822) and Caroline (1750-1848) Herschel, who abandoned lucrative musical careers for astronomy (actually, in William's case, cosmology, which wasn't yet scientifically defined), enjoyably acquaints us with two heroes of science inadequately known even by cognoscenti of their field. William discovered Uranus (the Georgian star of the title), his claim to fame then and since. Far more important, Lemonick holds, were the almost completely self-taught scientist's method and attitude. Herschel, who designed and built the best telescopes of the era, pioneered the practice of repeated, systematic scanning of the sky to obtain ever more precise data, and he extrapolated from the knowledge so obtained with great imagination, proceeding from extrascientific (often religious) as well as scientific assumptions, making a lot of errors, some of them considered ridiculous from the beginning, but spurring further productive research from that day to this. Caroline, his favorite sibling, had the interest, acumen, and temperament to become his indispensable assistant and a prodigious discoverer of comets. A bright, shiny gift to popular-science collections.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Former Time magazine science writer Lemonick provides an entertaining and illuminating look at a pathbreaking astronomical partnership. When William Herschel, in 1781, discovered Uranus (which he named the Georgian Star in hopes of getting much-needed funding from King George), he was a self-taught amateur astronomer earning his living as a musician. When the king offered Herschel L200 per year--a 50% drop in income--the astronomer gladly accepted the chance to become the king's astronomer. His goal was to discover how the universe was constructed, and Herschel, an obsessive observer, made a remarkable number of discoveries, including infrared radiation. He also taught his sister Caroline to help with his work, and soon she was publishing her own discoveries, hunting comets and cataloguing thousands of stars and nebulae. When the king agreed to give her a salary, she became the first paid woman scientist. Lemonick (Echo of the Big Bang) paints a vibrant and revealing picture of these two scientists whose painstaking observation and cataloguing paved the way for modern astronomy. 9 illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Great discoveries.
Subjects Herschel, William, -- 1738-1822.
Herschel, Caroline Lucretia, -- 1750-1848.
Astronomy -- History -- 19th century.
Publisher New York :Atlas & Co. :2009
W.W. Norton & Co.,
Language English
Description 199 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-180) and index.
ISBN 9780393065749 (hardcover)
039306574X (hardcover)
9780393337099 (paperback)
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