Many Skies: Alternative Histories of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars

Many Skies: Alternative Histories of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars

by Arthur Upgren

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Many Skies: Alternative Histories of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars examines the changes in science that  alternative solar, stellar, and galactic arrangements would have brought, and explores the different theologies, astrologies, and methods of tracking time that would have developed to reflect them. Our perception of our surroundings, the number of gods we worship, the symbols we use in art and literature, even the way we form nations and empires are all closely tied to our particular (and accidental) placement in the universe.  Upgren also explores the actual ways that human interferences such as light pollution are changing the night sky.  From fanciful to foreboding, the scenarios in Many Skies will both delight and inspire reflection, reminding us that ours is but one of many worldviews based on our experience of a universe that is as much a product of accident as it is of intention.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813553566
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 01/18/2005
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Arthur Upgren is emeritus professor of astronomy at Wesleyan University and senior research scientist at Yale University. He is also the author of several popular books on science and astronomy, including Night Has a Thousand Eyes and The Turtle and the Stars: Observations of an Earthbound Astronomer.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

I The Sun and the Moon

1 Our Three Moons 7

2 Within a Triple Star 18

3 Our Backward Stellar Magnitude System 35

4 An Improper Proper Motion 39

5 All Our Yesterdays 45

6 We Are Alone 52

II The Planets

7 The Rings of Earth 67

8 Next Door to a Giant 73

9 Double Planet 82

10 Debris in the Solar System 88

11 Seasons of Paradox 97

12 More Than One Pluto 103

III The Stars

13 What If the Sun Were Red? or Blue? 111

14 The Vernal Equinox Lies in Virgo 117

15 Vega and Deneb Change Places 125

16 The Pleiades Star Cluster Is as Close as the Hyades 129

17 The Great Popcorn Balls 134

18 The Milky Way Lies along Our Equator 141

19 We Are Alone II 147

IV Homemade Skies

20 Ring of Rubbish 155

21 The Tangled Skein of Celestial Mechanics 159

22 A Second Chance 162

23 Chicxulub, the Worst Sky of All 175

Personal Note 187

Bibliography 189

Index 191

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