Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets (Hardcover)
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On April 8, 2024, millions of Americans will experience an awe-inspiring phenomenon: a total eclipse of the sun. In Sun Moon Earth, astronomer Tyler Nordgren illustrates how this most seemingly unnatural of natural phenomena was transformed from a fearsome omen to a tourist attraction. From the astrologers of ancient China and Babylon to the high priests of the Maya, Sun Moon Earth takes us around the world to show how different cultures interpreted these dramatic events. Greek philosophers discovered eclipses' cause and used them to measure their world and the cosmos beyond. Victorian-era scientists mounted eclipse expeditions during the age of globe-spanning empires. And modern-day physicists continue to use eclipses to confirm Einstein's theory of relativity.
Beautifully illustrated and lyrically written, Sun Moon Earth is the ideal guide for all eclipse watchers and star gazers alike.
In 2004, NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on Mars carrying sundials, or "Marsdials," which he helped design as part of a team of seven other scientists and artists. Since 2007, Nordgren has worked closely with the U.S. National Park Service, traveling the country giving public talks, promoting his books, and helping train rangers to provide astronomy outreach in the parks. He lives in Claremont, California.
"Tyler Nordgren's Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets is a charming and informative primer on the subject.... As the title suggests, the book is more than a generic guide to next year's eclipse...it is a philosophical, historical, and speculative meditation on the roots of scientific thinking and the development of astronomical theory and practice."—Wall Street Journal
"[A] sprightly, informative new guide to solar eclipses..."
"Few books have been as valuable to eclipse chasers as this one. In Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets, astronomer Tyler Nordgren delivers a comprehensive history of the science and cultural fascination with these almost magical events... It is a niftily written narrative that will entertain, inform, and get your juices flowing for next year's big event."—Astronomy.com
"When the moon clips our view of the sun or our own shadow blots out our satellite, we experience it with the benefit of millennia of knowledge. We know years in advance when an eclipse will happen, where on the planet it will be visible and, perhaps most importantly, that the world will not end because of it. Our ancestors were not so well-prepared. Astronomer and physicist Nordgren charts the path our species has taken from terror to scientific understanding, and he's done it with and clarity."—Discover
"Tyler Nordgren's book takes you on a journey of discovery by telling the tales of astronomers who sailed the world to witness and measure eclipses--and the fierce arguments that shaped scientific theory. Nordgren, an astronomer himself, carefully explains some of the most awesome astronomical discoveries with a clarity that anyone can understand. It covers everything from Christopher Columbus to modern-day methods of measuring transit stars. With a huge solar eclipse set to cover the U.S. in 2017, now would be a good time to bone up on your space knowledge."—Popular Mechanics
"On 21 August 2017, the United States will experience its first total solar eclipse in 40 years. Astronomer Tyler Nordgren's primer maps essentials for that event, contextualized by a fascinating history that sweeps us from Anaxagoras' explanation of eclipses in the fifth century BC to Arthur Eddington's test of Einstein's theory of general relativity during the May 1919 total eclipse. Nordgren is a wonderful guide to both the science and the sensory thrills."—Nature
"Nordgren, an astronomer at the University of Redlands in California, has spent a lifetime explaining solar-system geometry to people who rarely contemplate their place in the universe. His experience with clarity makes this the best general-interest entry point."—Dallas Morning News