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Discovery of the First Asteroid, Ceres

Historical Studies in Asteroid Research

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Based on extensive primary sources,
many never previously translated into English, this is the definitive account
of the origins of Ceres as it went from being classified as a new planet to
reclassification as the first of a previously unknown group of celestial
objects. Cunningham opens this critical moment of astronomical discovery to
full modern analysis for the first time. This book includes all the voluminous
correspondence, translated into English, between the astronomers of Europe
about the startling discovery of Ceres by Piazzi in 1801. It covers the period
up to March 1802, at which time Pallas was discovered. Also included are
Piazzi’s two monographs about Ceres, and the sections of two books dealing with
Ceres, one by Johann Bode, the other by Johann Schroeter. The origin of the
word ‘asteroid’ is explained, along with several chapters on the antecedents of
the story going back to ancient Greek times. The formulation of Bode’s Law is
given, as are the details on the efforts of Baron von Zach to organize a search
for the supposed missing planet between Mars and Jupiter. Examples of verse
created to commemorate the great discovery are included in this first volume.
The author, who has a PhD in the History of Astronomy, is a dedicated scholar
of the story of asteroids and his research on the discovery of Ceres is
comprehensive and fully sourced. The discovery came at a time when rival
astronomers were in hot competition with each other, and when the true nature
of these celestial bodies was not yet known. With astronomers in France, Italy
and beyond vying to understand and receive credit for the new class of astral
bodies, drama was not in short supply--nor were scientific advances.


Titel: Discovery of the First Asteroid, Ceres
Autoren/Herausgeber: Clifford J. Cunningham
Ausgabe: 1st ed. 2016

ISBN/EAN: 9783319217765

Seitenzahl: 333
Format: 23,5 x 15,5 cm
Produktform: Hardcover/Gebunden
Gewicht: 768 g
Sprache: Englisch

Clifford J. Cunningham did his Ph.D. work in the history of astronomy at James Cook University and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, and he is affiliated with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand. He has written or edited 13 books on the history of astronomy, and his papers have been published in many major journals, including Annals of Science, Journal for the History of Astronomy, Culture & Cosmos, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia, The Asian Journal of Physics and The Milton Quarterly. Asteroid (4276) was named Clifford in his honour by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. - Newsletter
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