Cover image for Celestial treasury : from the music of the spheres to the conquest of space
Celestial treasury : from the music of the spheres to the conquest of space
Lachièze-Rey, Marc.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Figures du ciel. English
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
ii, 207 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 37 cm
General Note:
"The Celestial Treasury exhibition in Paris (October 1998-January 1999) coincided with the opening of public reading rooms in the François-Mitterand building at the Bibliothèque nationale de France"--Pref.

Translation of: Figures du ciel.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB981 .L23413 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Throughout history, the mysterious dark skies have inspired our imaginations in countless ways, influencing our endeavors in science and philosophy, religion, literature, and art. Filled with 380 full-color illustrations, Celestial Treasury shows the influence of astronomical theories and the richness of illustrations in Western civilization through the ages. The authors explore the evolution of our understanding of astronomy and weave together ancient and modern theories in a fascinating narrative. They incorporate a wealth of detail from Greek verse, medieval manuscripts and Victorian poetry with contemporary spacecraft photographs and computer-generated star charts. Celestial Treasury is more than a beautiful book: it answers a variety of questions that have intrigued scientists and laymen for centuries. How did philosophers and scientists try to explain the order that governs celestial motion? How did geometers and artists measure and map the skies? How many different answers have been proposed for the most fundamental of all questions: When and how did Earth come about? Who inhabits the heavens--gods, angels or extraterrestrials? No other book recounts humankind's fascination with the heavens as compellingly as Celestial Treasury. Marc Lachièze-Rey is a director of research at the Centre National pour la Récherche Scientifique and astrophysicist at the Centre d'Etudes de Saclay. He is the author of The Cosmic Background Radiation (Cambridge, 1999), and and The Quest for Unity, (Oxford, 1999 ), as well as many books in French. Jean-Pierre Luminet is a research director of the Centre National pour la Rechérche Scientifique, based at the Paris-Meudon observatory. He is the author of Black Holes, (Cambridge 1992), as well as science documentaries for television.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Astrophysicists Lachieze-Rey (Cosmology: A First Course) and Luminet (Black Holes) take a more technical tack in this serious yet engaging and accessible coffee-table book, first published in France in 1998 to accompany a Biblioth?que nationale exhibition. With 380 color maps and charts from all ages and lands, computer graphics and Hubble Space Telescope photos, the two deftly trace astrophysical fact and myth as it changes over time. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This attractive volume, suitable for the coffee table, is also a compendium of the ways in which humans have portrayed the night sky from ancient times up to today. The book starts with colorful illustrations of the arrangement of the solar system through the geocentric models of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and other early Greek astronomers, and into the heliocentric schemes shaped by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. Maps and globes representing the sky and astrolabes and other tools of the navigator are shown in detail. As one approaches the modern period, the emphasis shifts from locating stars by constellations to positions and coordinates similar to latitude and longitude on Earth. Finally, images from the Hubble space telescope are shown and discussed. A valuable source for anyone interested in images of the sky through the ages. All levels. A. R. Upgren Wesleyan University