Friday, October 28, 2005

SWQR - Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham's Celestial Handbook by Robert Burnham, Jr. (Dover Publications 1978)

Apropos of the Galileo case, Fr. Jaki often repeats the famous quote that the Bible is not about how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven. But this "Celestial Handbook" is, however, about what the heavens look like - from earth. It is a gigantic, three volume work, full of detailed information on all 88 constellations, and including many wonderful pictures, maps, and interesting essays on a number of topics. Thanks to my father, astronomy was the first science I explored, and one of the most important lines I have ever read is in Burnham's excellent introduction: "Considered as a collector of rare and precious things, the amateur astronomer has a great advantage over amateurs in all other fields, who must content themselves with second and third rate specimens. ... [he] has access at all times to the original objects of his study; the masterworks of the heavens belong to him as much as to the great observatories of the world." [p. 5, emphasis added] It is a useful reference which is also very interesting to read.


At 29 October, 2005 19:40, Blogger rhapsody said...

Wonder full, Dr. Thursday :)


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