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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good try, 1 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Story of Astronomy (Paperback)
Peter Aughtons' book 'the story of astronomy' is his 14th outing as an author. Most of his previous works include histories of cities in the west and northwest of England from where Aughton hails.
The Author then changes course to sail with the likes of Cook in his epic voyage and then his fatal voyage, prior to changing tack once more into the field of astronomic history, one that includes Newtons apple.
The book cover is a composite image taken from various astronomical archives and has an immediate impact that suggests that the contents may be of interest.

Although the book is easy to read it tends to wander from the theme and occasionally in its content.

The material contain within the book is sufficiently good enough for the uninitiated reader, anyone who reads a lot of books and has an interest in astronomy might find this too basic. It was noted that in the latter stages of the book that equations began to appear all of these are basic in their nature but may be off-putting to most readers.

The Story of Astronomy is subjective and the author tends to focus on breakthrough events, turning points that shaped the future and provides a little background as to the origins of the information that led up to such events. It is written in a clear style and makes for easy reading.

It does however contain errors and other faults that set this book aside from others with similar content, these range from errors not picked up in proofreading to those that are misleading and are more probably items passed down from in previous writings and not properly vetted by the author.

A classic error is on p135 where Gravity is described as" the force that draws everything to the ground" whereas it may be more properly described as "physical bodies that mutually attract each other with forces proportional to their masses."

The nose of Tycho Brahe on p82 was made from Gold,Silver and Wax, whereas it was in fact Brass!

The levels of detail in family connections are exacting but it must be remembered that the Babylonians recorded their findings in clay tablets, some of which still exist today, whereas the Greek history was written on parchment which has all since been lost, so how true some of these stories are no one will probably ever know.

It is in conclusion with no doubt that this book is aimed at those who have an interest either in History or Astronomy but may not be acquainted in either field. The book is easy to read, small by comparison with most books and contains only a few basic technical details to enhance the content.
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