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Reflections on the
Astronomy of Glasgow
David Clarke
Paperback ISBN:
978-0-7486-7890-7
£35.00 336 pages
Release date: 1 May 2013
The words‘Astronomy’and‘Glasgow’seem an incongruous juxtaposition, and yet
the two are closely linked over 500 years of history. This is a tale of enlightenment
and scientific progress at both institutional and public levels. Combined with
the ambitions of civic commerce, it is a story populated with noteworthy
personalities and intense rivalries.
It is remarkable to realise that the first Astronomy teaching in the Glasgow
‘Colledge’presented an Earth-centred Universe, prior to the Copernican
revolution of the mid sixteenth Century. Glasgow was later known
astronomically for the telescope observations of sunspots made
by Wilson in the 1760s, but less well known are the ideas related to
mono-chromaticity within light, to dew point and hoar frost, and Herschel’s
discovery of infra-red energy in solar radiation by application of Glasgow-made
thermometers.
This engrossing and entertaining scientific history includes the story of Glasgow’s
‘Big Bang’of 1863, the controversy over‘Astronomer Royal for Scotland’and a
historical survey of the eight observatories that once populated Glasgow. David
Clarke brings us a complex weave of science and accompanying social history in
this unique and fascinating work.‘Detailed and colourful
insights into the people and
events behind Glasgow’s half
millennium of astronomical
achievements and the
direction of modern trends’
–John C. Brown, 10th
Astronomer Royal for
Scotland
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Clarke is a practical astronomer, having worked around the world
on optical telescopes and on space missions such as Skylab and Pioneer
10. His chief focus has been the study of Astronomical Polarimetry and
he has spent most of his career within the University of Glasgow in
Education and Research as Observtory Director.
How Astronomy contributed to the
educational enlightenment of Glasgow,
to its society and to its commerce
www.euppublishing.com
TO REQUEST A REVIEW
COPY OR TO INTERVIEW THE
AUTHORS, PLEASE CONTACT
Catriona Murray
Edinburgh University Press
22 George Square
Edinburgh
Midlothian
EH8 9LF
marketing@eup.ed.ac.uk
0131 650 4218
•	 A comprehensive narrative of 500+ years of Glasgow’s connections with
Astronomy, the story being unique and non-comparable with any other
city around the world
•	 Provides short biographies of colourful contributors to the Astronomical
scene in Glasgow
•	 Gives insight on social aspects of Astronomy within Glasgow, its
relationships with commerce, and the upsurge of interests in Astronomy by
the general public
AI Sheet for
 Reflections on
the Astronomy of
Glasgow,
 Edinburgh
University Press.

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Astronomy Press Release

  • 1. Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow David Clarke Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7486-7890-7 £35.00 336 pages Release date: 1 May 2013 The words‘Astronomy’and‘Glasgow’seem an incongruous juxtaposition, and yet the two are closely linked over 500 years of history. This is a tale of enlightenment and scientific progress at both institutional and public levels. Combined with the ambitions of civic commerce, it is a story populated with noteworthy personalities and intense rivalries. It is remarkable to realise that the first Astronomy teaching in the Glasgow ‘Colledge’presented an Earth-centred Universe, prior to the Copernican revolution of the mid sixteenth Century. Glasgow was later known astronomically for the telescope observations of sunspots made by Wilson in the 1760s, but less well known are the ideas related to mono-chromaticity within light, to dew point and hoar frost, and Herschel’s discovery of infra-red energy in solar radiation by application of Glasgow-made thermometers. This engrossing and entertaining scientific history includes the story of Glasgow’s ‘Big Bang’of 1863, the controversy over‘Astronomer Royal for Scotland’and a historical survey of the eight observatories that once populated Glasgow. David Clarke brings us a complex weave of science and accompanying social history in this unique and fascinating work.‘Detailed and colourful insights into the people and events behind Glasgow’s half millennium of astronomical achievements and the direction of modern trends’ –John C. Brown, 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland ABOUT THE AUTHOR David Clarke is a practical astronomer, having worked around the world on optical telescopes and on space missions such as Skylab and Pioneer 10. His chief focus has been the study of Astronomical Polarimetry and he has spent most of his career within the University of Glasgow in Education and Research as Observtory Director. How Astronomy contributed to the educational enlightenment of Glasgow, to its society and to its commerce www.euppublishing.com TO REQUEST A REVIEW COPY OR TO INTERVIEW THE AUTHORS, PLEASE CONTACT Catriona Murray Edinburgh University Press 22 George Square Edinburgh Midlothian EH8 9LF marketing@eup.ed.ac.uk 0131 650 4218 • A comprehensive narrative of 500+ years of Glasgow’s connections with Astronomy, the story being unique and non-comparable with any other city around the world • Provides short biographies of colourful contributors to the Astronomical scene in Glasgow • Gives insight on social aspects of Astronomy within Glasgow, its relationships with commerce, and the upsurge of interests in Astronomy by the general public AI Sheet for  Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow,  Edinburgh University Press.