Last updated: 31 October 2008
One day recently I was browsing through some online free book catalogs on my Apple iPhone using a book reader application called "Stanza". I came across a book called Great Astronomers by Sir Robert S. Ball, published in 1895. Normally I don't read history books but I decided to get this one and read it. It was definitely worthwhile reading.
The book covers the following people who made one or more major impacts on astronomy:Ptolemy
Even though (or because) this book was written over a hundred years ago, the book provides some unique perspectives on these influential individuals. Even though I already knew much of what was written, there were a few surprises. The one downside to this free book is that all the illustrations are missing. That's unfortunate as they would have made the book complete. But their lack does not detract from the enjoyment of reading this book.
With today's powerful and automated telescope and imaging systems, even those sized and priced for today's amateur astronomers, it is very easy to forget what astronomers were able to accomplish several hundred years ago using, by our standards, primitive and sometimes no equipment. Reading this book will really make you appreciate the dedication and talents of these "amateur astronomers".
I highly recommend that you go to the Project Gutenberg web site and download and read this book. It is available in TEXT format so it can be read on any computer, most PDAs, and some cell phones. You will enjoy the book and you will learn some of the history of astronomy.
By the way, there are several other free astronomy books at Project Gutenberg and other free (copyright expired) online book web sites. Check them out.
Go back to the ETX Home Page.