Minding the Heavens The Story of our Discovery of the Milky Way Free Download

About The Book

This fully updated second edition of Minding the Heavens: The Story of Our Discovery of the Milky Way explores how we learned that we live in a galaxy, in a universe composed of galaxies and unseen, mysterious dark matter. The story unfolds through short biographies of seven astronomers: Thomas Wright, William Herschel, and Wilhelm Struve of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the transitional figure of William Huggins; and Jacobus Kapteyn, Harlow Shapley, and Edwin Hubble of the modern, big-telescope era. Each contributed key insights to our present understanding of where we live in the cosmos, and each was directly inspired by the work of his predecessors to decipher “the construction of the heavens.” Along the way, the narrative weaves in the contributions of those in supportive roles, including Caroline Herschel—William’s sister, and the first woman paid to do astronomy—and Martha Shapley, a mathematician in her own right who carried out calculations for her spouse.

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