Agnes Mary Clerke and the Rise of Astrophysics by M. T. Brück

By M. T. Brück

Born in eire within the mid-nineteenth century, Agnes Mary Clerke completed status because the writer of A heritage of Astronomy through the 19th century. via her quarter-century profession, she turned the best commentator on astronomy and astrophysics within the English-speaking international. This biography describes not just the existence and paintings of this awesome lady, but additionally chronicles the advance of astronomy within the final a long time of pre-Einstein technology. alongside the way in which, it introduces a few of the nice figures in astronomy of that age, together with Huggins, Lockyer, Holden, and Pickering.

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9 This famous treatise was first published in 1849 and remained the most popular serious text on the subject for over 50 years. It dealt principally with ‘classical’ astronomy – the sun, moon, planets, comets, stars, and the laws governing their motions – treated in considerable detail and requiring of the reader a knowledge of geometry and trigonometry. A section on advanced mathematical topics was intended for university students. 10 Lardner, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the newly-founded University of London, was a versatile writer and editor of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia, which contained in all an incredible 133 volumes and attracted many famous contributors including Sir John Herschel.

The leather-bound books, still perfectly preserved, are giltlettered and decorated. The outside cover of each volume is inscribed: ‘A Memorial of regard and esteem from the Inhabitants of Skibbereen and its neighbourhood. August 1861’. They were the farewell gift to John Clerke, presented at a public gathering when he left the bank for a new career in Dublin. John Clerke was now 47 years old, and, apart from his student years, had lived all his life in his native town. The Clerkes did not lose touch with their old home.

A section on advanced mathematical topics was intended for university students. 10 Lardner, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the newly-founded University of London, was a versatile writer and editor of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia, which contained in all an incredible 133 volumes and attracted many famous contributors including Sir John Herschel. The most difficult (from a student’s point of view) of the books in John Clerke’s library was Woodhouse’s Elementary Treatise on Astronomy, a text designed for the serious student of mathematics.

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