Spherical and Practical Astronomy Vol. 2
This classic was first published in 1887 by a founder of the U.S. Naval Academy, and a pillar of American science education, mathematics, and navigational astronomy. Chauvenet’s contributions are also considered…
A MANUAL OF SPHERICAL AND PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY
by William Chauvenet
This classic was first published in 1887 by a founder of the U.S. Naval Academy, and a pillar of American science education, mathematics, and navigational astronomy. Chauvenet’s contributions are also considered to have had immense impact on American military success.
Volume I (in two parts) is on the mathematics of navigational astronomy and its applications, both terrestrial and nautical. Its comprehensive coverage treats all the usual topics in celestial navigation plus many which would be considered novel today. Just one interesting example is cartographic mapping by finding longitude from telegraphed time signals. Other examples include about 11 different ways of determining longitude (including the method of lunar distances), 18 ways of finding latitude, and several ways of determining universal time.
Volume II (also in two parts) discusses a wide variety of astronomical measuring instruments, such as the mariner’s sextant, meridian transits, and zenith and equatorial telescopes. This volume ends with a detailed discussion of the method of least squares.
This treatise is a treasure for those interested in the mathematics and history of astronomical applications and their associated instruments. Readers not mathematically inclined will still find a lot of interesting discussion by simply skipping over the math.
These books are a Kessinger reprint. SC, 2008, Vol I is 708 pages, Vol II is 631 pages. SW 2.2 lbs each Vol.
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