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Explorers of the Southern Sky: A History of Australian Astronomy Hardcover – 27 Jun 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (27 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521365759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521365758
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 3 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,359,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Review of the hardback: 'Highly readable, thorough, well referenced and beautifully illustrated … a tome worth having. Authors Raymond Haynes, David Malin and Richard McGee begin with aboriginal images of the Moon and Milky Way and end with a radio telescope as wide as the whole Australian continent.' New Scientist

Review of the hardback: 'Astronomy is one of those few fields in which Australia, in 1996, ranks as a leader on the international stage, and in which it has a long and distinguished history of doing so … this is … a lively and captivating account of the people and the society which were responsible for this prestigious position. It is a good bed-time read, as light and fun as any historical novel, but with the added bonus of being impeccably researched by the four authors.' Sydney Morning Herald

Review of the hardback: 'This book explores the rich history of Australian astronomy and is sure to become the standard reference on the subject for a long time to come. It is detailed yet entertaining, and wonderfully researched. It is filled with amusing anecdotes and quotes. If you love astronomy, history, Australia or all threee, then get this book!' Geoff MacNamara, Astronomy Now

Review of the hardback: 'Explorers of the Southern Sky is a meticulously researched and well-written book. In many places the text is elegantly constructed and the unfolding story is a delight to read ... This is an elegant and erudite volume, and I recommend it warmly to all those with an interest in science Down Under.' John Hearnshaw, Journal for the History of Astronomy

Review of the hardback: 'This is a worthy volume for any self-respecting astronomical library; those with an interest in the history of the subject may want their own copy.' David Stickland, The Observatory

Review of the hardback: ' … no doubt to become a classic.' Irish Astronomical Journal

Review of the hardback: '… the most comprehensive account of Australian astronomy to date … and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline.' Europe & Astronomy

'The substantial reference section, glossary and bibliography [confirm] the authority of the authors as well as the post publication respect the global astronomical community has for this book.' Astronomy Now

Book Description

This well-illustrated volume is the most comprehensive account of Australian astronomy to date. It is both an indispensable reference book on the history of astronomy in Australia, and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline in the context of emerging nationhood. The non-technical language, many illustrations, and explanatory figures, ensure that this guide will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1997 shortly after publication and really understood the principles underpinning the astronomy of the Southern Sky. Having read a history of astronomy in South Africa by Patrick Moore a few years before that, and having spent some of my childhood under the Southern Skies in Australia, I had no excuse but to read. I was not disappointed nor am I disappointed that the book has reappeared in paperback. At a much reduced price, I recommend this book to all astronomers and astronomical historians. If you missed out on the 1996 hardback edition, which was reproduced on dire worthless paper, go with this reproduced Cambridge paperback. I assure you a good story and excellent signposting throughout. The authors of course, need no introduction to astronomers and astronomical historians - they are all leaders in their fields of astronomical research.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book worthy of a place in any astronomical library. However at £100 (UK), I would have hoped that Cambridge University Press could have arranged to print it on better quality paper. Unfortunately, not a book that will stand the test of regular reference.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars world class efforts 19 Feb. 2005
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In modern science, astronomy is one of the few areas in which Australia maintains world class standing. In part because it is a developed country, with the resources to spare for a modest investment in various observatories scattered throughout Australia, as discussed by Haynes. But also because by default, about the third of the night sky cannot be seen by the northern hemisphere. So Australia's main rivals in this regard are only Chile and South Africa.

The book does cover a history of astronomy in Australia. Starting with the efforts of Aboriginal astronomers. But perhaps to many readers, the most interesting sections are on the contemporary front. Here, Haynes explains the contributions in the many areas of the spectrum. Including the telescopes of Mt Stromlo and Siding Spring. Which were quite considerable monetary investments, by Australian standards.
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