Of Stars and Men: Reminiscences of an Astronomer PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Zdenek Kopal

Of Stars and Men: Reminiscences of an Astronomer

Routledge
Publication date: October 2017
ISBN: 9781351427166
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)

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The twentieth century has been a remarkable epoch in the affairs of men, and this is no less true of astronomy, at once the oldest and most modern of the sciences. Sky watchers at the beginning of the century measured positions and predicted celestial motions in faithful but uninspired homage to the Muse Urania; nowadays, their descendents call on all the resources of modern science to probe the nature and evolution of a bewildering range of celestial objects. Man has even set out to call personally on his nearest neighbours in space. Professor Zdenek Kopal has lived and practised astronomy throughout this efflorescence of his subject. Born in Czechoslovakia just before the outbreak of the Great War, and educated in the classical European tradition, he knows well the days when scholars commanded such respect that astronomical congresses would be visited by Heads of State. Yet within his own lifetime, he has himself been recruited to play an important role in scientific preparations for a manned Moon landing. He has known and worked with some of the most highly respected practitioners of Modern Astromomy: Russell, Shapley, Urey in the United States, Eddington in Britain. His fine eye for detail, coupled with his strong sense of history, enable him to unfold through his personal recollections the development of his subject across the social changes of two world wars. Inspired by his grandfather, who would think nothing of walking sixty miles to theatrical performance, the young Kopal acquired a Wanderlust that has taken him in his career more than a dozen times rond the world. He has visited the most ancient observatories, observed solar eclipses in Japan and Java, helped to establish new institutions in Iraq and India, and commuted for many years between the Old and New Worlds. He has toiled in every corner of his chosen vinyard: as observer, outstanding theoretician, populariser, editor and teacher. During his thirty years as Professor of Astronomy at Manchester, he
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