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Early Investigations of Ceres and the Discovery of Pallas : Historical Studies in Asteroid Research
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An asteroid scholar, Cunningham in this book picks up where Volume I "Ceres, The First Asteroid Found" left off in telling the story of the impact waves created by the discovery of this new class of object in the early 1800s. The best and brightest minds of mathematics, science, and philosophy were mesmerized by Ceres, and figures as diverse as Gauss, Herschel, Hegel, Kant and Laplace all contributed something to the conversation. The first few chapters deal with the mathematical and philosophical aspects of the discovery, and the rivalry between Germany and France that so affected science and astronomy of that era. Piazzi’s controversial role in the initial discovery of Ceres in 1801 and then failure to locate it again is examined in detail, as is the reception given to Herschel’s use of the word 'asteroid.' The origin of the asteroids and their relationship to meteors is also examined. Astronomy was a truly cosmopolitan field at the time, spanning across various disciplines, and the discovery of Ceres, a story completely told in these pages, exemplifies the excitement and drama of early 1800s astronomy. Biographies of the major players involved in the story of the Ceres are given, which help to contextualize the discovery.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Author: Clifford Cunningham
Street Date: September 23, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-23-9646