Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology

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Princeton University Press, 1997 - 365 trang

In a lively investigation into the boundaries between popular culture and early-modern science, Sara Schechner presents a case study that challenges the view that rationalism was at odds with popular belief in the development of scientific theories. Schechner Genuth delineates the evolution of people's understanding of comets, showing that until the seventeenth century, all members of society dreaded comets as heaven-sent portents of plague, flood, civil disorder, and other calamities. Although these beliefs became spurned as "vulgar superstitions" by the elite before the end of the century, she shows that they were nonetheless absorbed into the science of Newton and Halley, contributing to their theories in subtle yet profound ways.


Schechner weaves together many strands of thought: views of comets as signs and causes of social and physical changes; vigilance toward monsters and prodigies as indicators of God's will; Christian eschatology; scientific interpretations of Scripture; astrological prognostication and political propaganda; and celestial mechanics and astrophysics. This exploration of the interplay between high and low beliefs about nature leads to the conclusion that popular and long-held views of comets as divine signs were not overturned by astronomical discoveries. Indeed, they became part of the foundation on which modern cosmology was built.

 

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Contemporary perspectives on womens
17
Competition and community in English womens football
45
competition 19882000
60
Memory and English womens football
68
Oral history and womens football in England
102
Baldwins United Ladies Football Team
106
A Scottish womens team photograph c World War I
106
Heys Brewery Bradford Ladies AFC 5 Atlanta Ladies 6 Dick Kerr International Ladies
106
Periodicity and Variability of Synodic Phenomena
34
Derivation of the Parameters for Synodic
73
Alignment to the Zodiac Initial Position Elongation
135
Summary and Conclusion 173
173
Appendix Alternative Methods of Deriving Parameters
183
Tables 191
191
12A Venus System A and
218
Figures 221
221

Greenwood and Batleys Ladies Armley 8 Stoke Ladies Football Team c 19213
106
The law and English womens football
118
An international comparison
148
A female future for a mans game?
181
Bibliography
199
Introduction Planetary Omens Observations
1
10A Mercury System A2 12 226
226
This
229
Notation and Abbreviations
235
Index of Names
243
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Giới thiệu về tác giả (1997)

Sara J. Schechner is a scholar-in-residence at the American Institute of Physics and a research fellow at the National Museum of American History. After many years as the Curator of the History of Astronomy Collection at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, she is now the principal of Gnomon Research, a firm specializing in science exhibits, educational outreach, and collections-based research.

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