Explorers of the Southern Sky
Cambridge University Press, 27/06/1996
EAN 9780521365758, ISBN10: 0521365759
Hardcover, 542 pages, 25.2 x 18 x 3.2 cm
This well-illustrated volume is the most comprehensive account of Australian astronomy to date. It is both an indispensable reference book on the history of astronomy in Australia, and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline in the context of emerging nationhood. It covers not only the science, but the individuals involved and the social and economic climate in which they worked. Starting from the ancient Aboriginal beliefs about the Sky World - the earliest known astronomy, anywhere in the world - we are led through to the most exciting high-tech current and projected research being carried out at Australia’s world-class national astronomy facilities, and by groups in Australian universities. All branches of astronomy are covered - optical, infrared, X-ray, gamma-ray, microwave, gravitational wave and theoretical - including the contribution of amateur astronomers. The non-technical language, many illustrations, and explanatory figures, ensure that this guide will appeal to a wide range of readers - including professional astronomers, historians of science, students, amateur astronomers and general readers.
'Highly readable, thorough, well referenced and beautifully illustrated ... a tome worth having. Authors Raymond Haynes, David Malin and Richard McGee begin with aboriginal images of the Moon and Milky Way and end with a radio telescope as wide as the whole Australian continent.' New Scientist 'Astronomy is one of those few fields in which Australia, in 1996, ranks as a leader on the international stage, and in which it has a long and distinguished history of doing so ... this is ... a lively and captivating account of the people and the society which were responsible for this prestigious position. It is a good bed-time read, as light and fun as any historical novel, but with the added bonus of being impeccably researched by the four authors.' Sydney Morning Herald 'This book explores the rich history of Australian astronomy and is sure to become the standard reference on the subject for a long time to come. It is detailed yet entertaining, and wonderfully researched. It is filled with amusing anecdotes and quotes. If you love astronomy, history, Australia or all threee, then get this book!' Geoff MacNamara, Astronomy Now 'Explorers of the Southern Sky is a meticulously researched and well-written book. In many places the text is elegantly constructed and the unfolding story is a delight to read ... This is an elegant and erudite volume, and I recommend it warmly to all those with an interest in science Down Under.' John Hearnshaw, Journal for the History of Astronomy 'This is a worthy volume for any self-respecting astronomical library; those with an interest in the history of the subject may want their own copy.' David Stickland, The Observatory ' ... no doubt to become a classic.' Irish Astronomical Journal '... the most comprehensive account of Australian astronomy to date ... and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline.' Europe & Astronomy