By Robert S. Ball
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:June 2011
Original Publication Year:1885
Subjects: Planetary Science , Astronomy: General Interest
An Irish astronomer and talented mathematician, Sir Robert Stawell Ball (1840–1913) was also a prolific writer of popular astronomy. As a young man, Ball conducted observations of nebulae using Lord Rosse's telescope – at the time the largest in the world. His Story of the Heavens displays the same fascination with the beauties and mysteries of the sky, providing a detailed survey of the history and contemporary situation of the solar system, and speculating about the possibility of life on other planets. Originally published in 1885, when Ball was Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin and Royal Astronomer of Ireland, this beautifully illustrated volume covers all eight planets, the Sun, as well as double stars, distant suns, comets, and the Milky Way. Extremely popular in its time, this book remains relevant today for its historical account of astronomy as a science.