Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_terminator_challenge.thumb.jpg.b7f10f594317507d0f40662231b0d9a8.jpg

Recommended Posts

If you haven't already done so, I thoroughly recommend you read this book... 

Longitude by Dava Sobel

With a big hint of astronomy and some key historical names mentioned, this book is (quote) the dramatic story of an epic scientific quest! 

Whilst we all take for granted the easy identification of where we are on the planet these days, this was not always the case! The quest to solve the recording of longitude was so difficult in the past that  it gave rise to many governments offering huge sums of money as prizes for the answer to the question.

If you want a book to browes through on ya sunbed or deck chair at night whilst waiting for the clouds to clear, this is a good one.. It reads like a whose who in the world of astronomy - see if you get get hold of this book. 

I would pass it on but my partner is going to delve into it when she's completed her latest crime thriller... 

Although when she's finished it I may be able to let it go (although technically it is hers) 

 

IMG_20180720_091329_1.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dava Sobel is a terrific writer. I started with this one (longitude) and then followed with "Galileo's Daughter" and "Copernicus (A More Perfect Heaven)"

I am now reading her latest book "The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/07/2018 at 10:15, Vox45 said:

Dava Sobel is a terrific writer. I started with this one (longitude) and then followed with "Galileo's Daughter" and "Copernicus (A More Perfect Heaven)"

I am now reading her latest book "The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars"

Wow, I'll check those out... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to pass this book on to whoever would like to read it... Just message me your details!

Only condition it must be passed on once read 😎 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoroughly good read, almost a "non put downable" book. The other half managed to find me "The Illustrated Longitude" version by Dava Sobel and William J H Andrews.  ISBN No - 1857027140. Lots of pretty informative piccys as a bonus.

Get it, you won't regret it!...... and enjoy.

Les

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the recommendation, the Dava Sobel books are now on my wish list. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed "Longitude", but "Galileo's Daughter" I found absolutely fascinating, both as an insight into his world but also the relationship between a father his illegitimate daughter for whom he was trying to achieve the best possible outcome.

James

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Longitude' was a fascinating series on TV.
Michael Gambon in the role of John Harrison was quite superb.
As a Clockmaker, he was well suited to the task of creating a timepiece to aid in the establishment  of 'Longitude' at Sea.
The Award that was on offer to the person who was successful in achieving that goal, was certainly a prize Harrison earned,
but had one hell of a fight to finally get that reward, but the intervention of King George the third ensured he was paid that money.
Little help was afforded Harrison by the Georgian  Astronomer Royal at the Time,  Nevil Maskelyne.
Harrisons Son also played a big part in this success story.
A fantastic bit of television, and I recommend it to anyone who has not seen it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I saw it too - very good indeed :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had that book for many years.  Superb.  Thanks for the TV link, I shall watch that with a brandy later :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed the book very much but I do think Dava Sobel oversimplifies the success of Harrison's clocks. In fact it took many decades before the clock became reliable enough to work consistently as the only determinant of longitude and most navigators used both a clock or clocks in conjunction with the lunars method. Some feel she gives Neville Maskelyne an unduly hard time as well. All of this comes within the usual give and take of historical debate and it certainly is a book worth reading, as is Gallileo's Daughter, another of her titles.

Olly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Sunshine
      If anyone out there is interested in an amazing read, an adventure spanning a century, and an archeological find that changes our understanding of technological history then this book is a must, 
      Many have surely heard of the Antikythera Mechanism, no longer is it a mystery ripe with whimsical Alien visitation theories, but a verified and accepted game changer when it comes to understanding our technological evolution through observations of the heavens.
      The latest efforts, to crack its secrets, involved scholars at the top of their fields from around the world, and an intrepid  company from Britain at the forefront of X-ray technology. the mystery has been largely cracked and results surrounding this astonishing discovery have been published in the worlds most prestigious publications.
      This book is an amazing journey, chronicling it’s  discovery, and the century afterwards where many have tried to unlock its true purpose, it reads like an adventure because it is. Rarely do I ready 170 pages in one sitting, I received this 300 page  book on Friday and was done Sunday, 
      It not only tells the story of the effort to crack the mechanisms mysteries, but also does a phenomenal job of explaining how ancient civilizations observed and kept records of happenings in the night sky. It’s a journey through Babylon, Ancient Greece, Roman Empire to name a few. 
      Every amateur astronomer would love this book I guarantee, and no, I didn’t write it lol or benefit from sales (wish I did), I’m just passionate about what stirs me, and love to share my experiences.
       

    • By michaelmorris
      I'm off to Kelling Heath Star Party again in a few weeks and I'm having a sort out of stuff to sell at the event.  I'll be on pitch 167 (the new area behind the loos on the yellow field) from Wednesday 20th September.
      Amongst possibly a few other things, I'm planning to have the following items for sale
      Astrotrac (Mk1) with custom polar scope and battery pack.  This has given me years of faithful service, but I've realised that, taking only 5 minutes subs with a 50mm lens, I just don't need the accuracy this lovely bit of kit can deliver.  I've downgraded to a secondhand iOptron Skytracker which can be mounted on my existing birdwatching/camera tripod and hence take up less room when we go away.
      This is the early Mk1 version of the Astrotrac.  I works really well and comes with a custom-made polar scope consisting of a EQ5 polar scope mounted in a custom adaptor.  It also comes with a plastic box for housing 10 x 1.2v rechargeable AA batteries and the original power lead.
      The latest version of the Astrotrac costs >£400 + >£100 for the polar scope.  I'm asking £295.
      Books
      Lunar and planetary webcam user guide - Martin Mobberley - £4
      Norton Star Atlas (18th Edition) - Ian Ridpath - £4
      Magazines
      A selection of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines from the last two years - FREE to a good home
       
    • By jambouk
      Buying second hand copies of old astronomy books online is great fun, and what surprises me is how often they have been autographed by the author seemingly unknown to the retailer. Patrick Moore seems to have signed thousands, but I also have got books by other authors who have left their mark; Clyde Tombaugh, David Levy etc. One arrived in the post yesterday which I'd picked up for £2.81 and was signed by Fred Hoyle - it's just lovely to think he once held this copy of my book.

      James
       

    • By baggywrinkle
      Over the last year I have become increasingly interest in Solar observing and have acquired a Herschel Wedge, a PST and a 50mm Lunt.
      I saw this book recently at the Norwich Astronomical Society where a talk was being given on Solar observing, it seemed to cover what I wanted to learn more about so bought it via Amazon, £21.99
      Technically this book is excellent, it covers the usual subjects of what the Sun is, how it works etc. Then it goes onto the more interesting subjects such as white light observing, how to classify and record solar activity. There are chapters on chromospheric and Ha observing as well as photography. All dealt with in an easy reading manner. So 5/5 for content.
      This is a book published by Springer and their prices are not cheap and true to Springer form the quality of print is vary variable. Some pages the print is nice and black, umbra like, others more penumbral and grayer and more difficult to read. Springer : Don't you have anyone checking quality?
      So 2/5 for print quality v price.
       
    • By baggywrinkle
      The New Cosmos - David J Eicher: CUP ISBN 978-1-107-06885-8
      I picked this book up at the Cambridge Univ Press book shop in Cambridge just before Christmas intending to read it over the holiday period. That did not happen.
      David Eicher writes for the Astronomy magazine in the US and this rather nice hardback tome is a series of 17 articles on the latest science with regards to many astronomical topics.
      It starts with an intro 'The awakening of astronomy' and then proceeds outwards from Earth, 'How the Sun will die', End of Life on earth', How the Moon formed' It covers both planetary and deep space.
      Excellent articles on the latest science of the Milky Way, how big is the Universe and then onto Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Black Holes.
      Each chapter is stand alone and the book can be picked up and put down, the chapters cover a short history of the subject and then introduce the latest science and thinking.. There are some beautiful illustrations and photos.
      There is just about something for everyone and I would give it a 9/10.
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.