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Look Inside Solar System Astronomy in America

Solar System Astronomy in America
Communities, Patronage, and Interdisciplinary Science, 1920–1960

$43.99 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521115681

$ 43.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Between 1920 and 1960 astronomers began working with scientists in other fields in order to better understand the nature of the solar system. Researchers made wide-ranging attempts to solve such problems as the nature of lunar and terrestrial craters, the origin of comets and meteors, and the birth of the solar system. While often tinged with controversy, this work provided the foundation for planetary science in the space age. Exploiting previously unused archival material, Ronald Doel investigates this emerging interdisciplinary scientific community and its influence on astronomy, meteorology, geology, and geophysics. He examines how studies in planetary science were influenced by shifts in institutional mandates, new research techniques, and Cold War government-military funding. Above all, the book explores an important branch of what is now called the environmental sciences. This book will interest historians of science as well as astronomers.

    • Only title covering crucial earlier period of twentieth-century US planetary science
    • Emphasizes interdisciplinary aspects of planetary science
    • Non-technical language
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Doel has relied not only on wide reading in published primary and secondary sources, but also on extensive archival research and numerous oral history interviews. This book is a model historical study that needs to be seriously studied by anyone interested in the profound changes that affected the earth as well as the planetary sciences in the post-World War II era." Carl-Henry Geschwind

    "Ronald Doel's superb book challenges the thesis that American scientists neglected the solar system in the four decades preceding NASA's founding....Besides offering a carefully crafted and unusually original history of solar system research between 1920 and 1960, Doel reflects on its broader significance for our understanding of the transformation of American science during the mid-20th century." Karl Hufbauer, Science

    " interesting history of science, well worth reading by astronomers, physicists and planetary scientists." Donald E. Osterbrock, Physics Today

    "...Solar System Astronomy in America is an interesting history of science, well worth reading by astronomers, physicists and palnetary scienctists to broaden their perspective to the whole Solar System, so much the better." Donald E. Osterbrock, Physics Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521115681
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. American astronomy in the foundation era (1920–40)
    2. Planetary atmospheres and military patrons (1945–55)
    3. Astronomers, geochemists, and astro-chemistry (1945–55)
    4. Consensus, then controversy: interdisciplinary turmoil (1950–7)
    5. Astronomers and geologists: uneasy alliances (1920–60)
    6. Patronage and American astronomy: turmoil and transition (1952–60)
    List of Abbreviation

  • Author

    Ronald E. Doel

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