Hawkins Gerald S. - Stonehenge decoded

Authors : Hawkins Gerald S. - White John B.
Title : Stonehenge decoded An astronomer examines one of the great puzzles of the ancient world
Year : 1965

Link download : Hawkins_Gerald_S_-_Stonehenge_decoded.zip

It is altogether fitting that the discoveries described in this book were made by an astronomer affiliated with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Samuel P. Langley, third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and founder of its Astrophysical Observatory, was the first major scientist to recognize the possible astronomic importance of the "rude, enormous monoliths" of Salisbury Plain. In his book The New Astronomy he wrote, "Most great national observatories, like Greenwich or Washington, are the perfected development of that kind of astronomy of which the builders of Stonehenge represent the infancy. Those primitive men could know where the sun would rise on a certain day, and. make their observation of its place... without knowing anything of its physical nature." By "that kind of astronomy" he meant classical positional observation, the study of the motions rather than the structures-the "where" rather than the "what" -of heavenly bodies. His "new astronomy" was what we now call astrophysics. Langley wrote that in 1889, by happy coincidence the same year in which construction was begun on the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He would have been pleased to know that just seventyfive years after he made his extraordinarily wise evaluation a worker in the observatory which he founded would play a part in establishing the great astronomical significance of Stonehenge. ...

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