By Alan W. Hirshfeld,

Book cover of Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos

Book description

In the dramatic tradition of the best selling "Longitude", this book charts the historical path of observational astronomy's most daunting challenge: measuring the distance to a star. The greatest scientific minds applied themselves in vain to the problem across the millennia, beginning with the ancient Greeks. Not until the 19th…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Parallax as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book by a life-long astronomer is a nice, successful attempt to humanize natural philosophers since classical times. It is rare that we find books that dig deeper into the personal struggles, false starts, and wrong conclusions of philosophers (scientists) as they strive at their research incessantly. A recommended read to all astronomy educators and those youth aspiring to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos.

Societies tend to portray high achievers of the past, whether in science, art, or otherwise, as special beings who were infallible genii of their times and that today’s generations may not reach those heights. To…

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