Sky and Ocean Joined: The US Naval Observatory 1830-2000

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9780521037501: Sky and Ocean Joined: The US Naval Observatory 1830-2000

This volume is, first and foremost, a story of the relations between space, time and navigation, from the rise of the chronometer in the U.S. to the Global Positioning System of satellites, for which the Naval Observatory provides the time to a billionth of a second per day. It is a story of the history of technology, in the form of telescopes, lenses, detectors, calculators, clocks and computers over 170 years. It describes how one scientific institution under government and military patronage has contributed, through all the vagaries of history, to almost two centuries of unparalleled progress in astronomy.

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Book Description:

As one of the oldest scientific institutions in the United States, the U. S. Naval Observatory has a rich and colorful history. Sky and Ocean Joined is essentially a story of the history of technology, in the form of telescopes, lenses, calculators, clocks and computers, over 170 years. It describes how this observatory has contributed to almost two centuries of unparalleled progress in astronomy. This volume will therefore appeal to historians of science and technology, astronomers and general readers interested in Naval history, navigation, timekeeping, positional astronomy, and celestial mechanics.

About the Author:

Steven J. Dick has worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the US Naval Observatory since 1979.

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