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Astronomy: A Handy Manual For Students And Others


Astronomy: A Handy Manual For Students And Others

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Автор: F. W. Dyson, F.R.S.
Издательство: London, J. M. Dents & Sons, LTD.
Страниц: 264
Год: 1910
Размер: 4,65 МБ

PREFACE

In this little book I have attempted to give an account of the methods employed by astronomers and the reasons for some of the propositions they advance. Astronomical investigations frequently seem complicated owing to the amount of subsidiary detail, but the principles underlying them are simple and usually admit of a clear statement which can be followed by a general reader. In the introduction to his lectures delivered at Ipswich in 1848 Sir George Airy draws attention to an attitude towards Astronomy which is still prevalent. Such questions as the determination of the distance of the Sun or Moon are considered as beyond ordinary comprehension ; the instruments with which astronomical measurements are made are supposed to be based on obscure and difficult principles ; therefore the best a layman can do is to accept statements on the personal credit of the astronomer making them. He points out that this is an exaggerated view. The principles involved in measuring the distance of the Moon are no more abstruse than those employed to find the distance of a tree on the other side of a river. Astronomical instruments are as simple in principle and far less complicated in detail than a lathe or a steam-engine. It is quite true that in both instruments and methods many subsidiary details must be attended to when great accuracy is required in order that disturbing causes may be allowed for or eliminated. But an explanation of the essential principles may be given which can be readily understood with ordinary care and attention…


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