Shop now Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop Now Shop now
The History of Astronomy: A Very Short Introduction and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The History of Astronomy:... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The History of Astronomy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 8 May 2003

3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£2.20 £1.83
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on Amazon.co.uk with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The History of Astronomy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • +
  • Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • +
  • Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Total price: £20.77
Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1st ed. edition (8 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803061
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 1.3 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Packed with information as it is, Hoskin's short introduction makes an astonishingly good read. (Curtis Wilson, JHA)

About the Author

Michael Hoskin taught History of Astronomy at Cambridge University for thirty years and was head of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He is a Fellow of Churchill College and Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. In 1970 he founded the Journal for the History of Astronomy, which he has edited ever since. He is a former President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and the only historian to have given an Invited Discourse to the Union. In 2002 the Union named Minor Planet 12223 'Hoskin' in his honour.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
Historians of astronomy work mainly with the surviving documents from the past (fragmentary in quantity from antiquity, overwhelmingly bulky from recent times), and with artefacts such as instruments and observatory buildings. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Brothers on 21 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book to give me a grounding in the subject in preparation for my UCAS application and it provides a brilliant detailed introduction (so not so short) in the subject and covering the evolution of our understanding of the solar system and the universe. In particular I found it interesting how much more work Kepler did towards this than the more famous Galileo. It's only shortcoming for me is that it stops when astrophysics emerges in the 19 century (I believe) and I would have like to have seen it go up to the present day.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
In this work, Hoskin focus largely on a sequence of individuals, mostly from the latter parts of the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and on into the Scientific Revolution. Before that, though, there is an obligatory look at the early history of astronomy, not least looking at the work of Aristotle and Ptolemy, though even this preceded by "astronomy in prehistory".

In telling the story of astronomy in antiquity, our focus is largely on the planets, having been considered as stars that behaved in a peculiar way (hence the term 'planet' - meaning, wanderer). The puzzle, as seen from a modern perspective, is that of why the planets which are further out from the sun than earth appear to have retrograde motion. The history that then follows is the history of the ideas put forward by means of explanation as well as a little history of the people behind their ideas. As might be expected, we come across figures such as Tycho Brahe, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton.

In telling this history, the book's strongest point is in showing the detail behind the basic outline that most science students know. Our modern model of planets in elliptical orbits around the sun did not come about by a sudden eureka moment, but by a series of gradual shifts in thought.

The book ends in the early 19th century. Hoskin considers that at this point astronomy ceased to become a subject in its own right and became subsumed within physics and chemistry. So readers hoping for a history that included modern astronomy may well be disappointed. If that is the case, then I recommend following up with Peter Coles' Cosmology VSI. For while it is interesting enough, there was nothing that grabbed me by the lapels to make me remember it.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Owl on 24 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is not an introduction to The History of Astronomy, but just snippets that show the author's bias. So Arabic astronomy is not mentioned, whereas pages are devoted to tombs in Portugal that point roughly eastwards - very odd! Some descriptions are poor or skipped altogether. Personally, I found it quite a frustrating book to read.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Centuries of Astronomy in 123 Pages 1 April 2007
By Steve R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent short history of developments in astronomy from prehistory to the 19th century. And there is perhaps no one better suited than Michael Hoskin to write it: he is the editor of the `Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy'; he has also been the long-standing editor of the `Journal for the History of Astronomy.' He if anyone can distill millennia of stargazing to under 125 pages.

The six short chapters cover the sky in prehistory, astronomy in antiquity, astronomy in the middle ages, the Copernican revolution, astronomy in the age of Newton, and developments in stellar and nebular astronomy (looking beyond our solar system). The book also provides a number of useful illustrations.

This is a great primer, a perfect pocket introduction to the history of astronomy.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Introduction to Astronomy 30 Sept. 2010
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Astronomy is one of the oldest intellectual disciplines, and together with mathematics it has a distinction that its history can be traced continuously for several thousands of years. In fact, it is probably much older than mathematics, since we have indirect evidence that even the Stone Age peoples had used positions of stars in the sky for navigation, not to mention all the effort that had gone in the understandings of the sun and the moon. It is maybe somewhat surprising to the moderns that for the better part of its history astronomy had a very practical and sometimes crucial role to play in human societies. As has already been mentioned, being able to predict positions of the stars was invaluable in navigation, and the monthly and yearly positions of the moon and the sun were crucial for the planning of large and predictable agricultural projects.

This very short introduction aims to recapture some of these historical developments. It deals with all the major highlights in the (recorded) history of astronomy up to the middle of the nineteenth century. It is a fascinating look at the way that our understanding of the humanity's place in the universe has developed. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the author did not go down the trite and misleading "religion vs. science" path when approaching this subject, and showed how for each astronomical development there have been many points of view within religious community itself. Furthermore, many (most?) religions do rely on astronomical phenomena for their religious observances, and have throughout history been major supporters of astronomical research.

This is very well written and accessible book. As someone who enjoys reading about both history and science I have been practically glued to it. I highly recommend it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Big Bang for the Buck! 18 July 2010
By Sulafat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this Oxford "A Very Short Introduction:..." series. I have quite a collection and have yet to find an edition I didn't enjoy reading or learn something new from. If you want an accessible introduction to a new difficult subject, this series is the place to begin from.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A lucid overview 17 July 2007
By D. Stover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Lucid overview of the development of astronomy as a science, from ancient times till the mid-19th century.
Brief but complete 1 Jan. 2014
By Alexánder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book, in spite of being only a hundred and some pages long, covers the topic comprhensively. It is also a very enjoyable read.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback