Cover image for Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics
Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics
Taton, René.
Physical Description:
volumes <1- > : illustrations ; 26 cm.
General Note:
"Published under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science."
pt. A. Tycho Brahe to Newton.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB28 .P55 1989 PT.A Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The International Astronomical Union and the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science have sponsored a major work on the history of astronomy, which the Press publishs are in four volumes, three of which will be divided into two parts. Publication commenced with volume 4, part A. The history of astronomy has never been tackled on this scale and depth and this major synthesis breaks wholly new ground. The individual chapters of each volume have been prepared by leading experts in every field of the history of astronomy.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This first of two parts of Volume 2 deals with the history of planetary astronomy, both descriptive and theoretical, from the late 16th century through the astronomical work of Newton. The second part of Volume 2 will carry this history to the end of the 19th century. Each of the 13 chapters (by 11 experts) is a model of concise erudition; little space being wasted, for example, on entertaining anecdotes about famous astronomers. Perhaps the most unfamiliar material occurs in the longest chapter (one of three by Curtis Wilson), which covers, with adequate technical detail, "predictive astronomy in the century after Kepler." Wilson summarizes and compares the mathematical methods and empirical results (in the form of astronomical tables) of a lengthy list of astronomers (including Hortensius, Van Lansberge, Horrocks, Wendlin, Boulliau, Shakerly, Wing, Streete, Mercator, the Cassinis, Richer, Picard, De La Hire, Flamsteed, Halley, and Lacaille), who were of considerable significance in their own times but whose contributions have long been ignored by historians too ready to leap from the radical innovations of Kepler at the beginning of 17th century to those of Newton at the end. Not that Kepler and Newton are absent in this book, for there are, in fact, excellent accounts of the astronomical work of Kepler (by Owen Gingerich) and of Newton (by Wilson). Diagrams; pictures; glossary. Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate students. -R. Palter, Trinity College (CT)

Table of Contents

Part I Tycho, Gilbert and Kepler
Part II The Impact of the Telescope
Part III Planetary, Lunar and Cometary Theories Between Kepler and Newton
Part IV The Newtonian Achievement in Astronomy
Glossary of technical terms
acknowledgements and sources
Part V Early Phases in the Reception of Newton's Theory
Part VI Celestial Mechanics During the Eighteenth Century
Part VII Observational Astronomy and the Application of Theory in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
Part VIII The Development of Theory During the Nineteenth Century
Part IX The Application of Celestial Mechanics to the Solar System to the End of the Nineteenth Century