Great Astronomers in History

Module Code: AA1066

Module Tutor: Paul Marston

Next Run Date: Sep 2020

Module Credits: 20

You will explore the discoveries of key European astronomers in the context of the times they worked in. Starting with the nature and history of science, you will work from the Ancient Greeks through Nicholas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Jeremiah Horrocks, Isaac Newton and William Herschel to an understanding of the the progress of both scientific discovery and the changing view of science.

Assessment involves a researched essay, a book review and a role-play letter. This module requires good skills in written English, but no maths.

Recommended Text Book(s)

The Course Notes have recently been published as a book by the Module Tutor:

Great Astronomers in European History, 2012, Paul Marston, Canopus.

Students should NOT buy a copy themselves as it will be sent to them as part of Induction for the course.

Student’s should also refer to the History of Astronomy Workbook and the bibliographies at the end of each chapter of the Course Textbook.

Available online through UCLan library, also:

The Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy, John L. Heilbron, 2005, ISBN: 9780199725328 or 9780195171983 Oxford University Press

Further Reading Subject to availability, either:

Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy Michael Hoskin, 1999, CUP, ISBN-13: 9780521576000 ; ISBN-10: 0521576008, £24.99 (paperback).

or the

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy by Michael Hoskin, 1996, CUP, ISBN-13: 9780521411585 ; ISBN-10: 052141158 (£25.00 Out of print – 2nd hand copies sometimes available on Amazon).

For a better feel for the earlier key figures:

The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler (1989, Arkana, ISBN-13  9780140192469, £14.99)

An example of a book that students might like to review is:

Gods in the Sky  by Allan Chapman, 2002, Channel 4 Books, ISBN-13: 978-0752261645 ; ISBN-10: 0752261649, £18.99.