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Expertly written and lavishly illustrated, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy offers a unique account of astronomical theory and practice from antiquity to the present day. How did Moslems of the Middle Ages use astronomy to calculate the direction of Mecca from far-flung corners of the Islamic world? Who was the only ancient Greek to suspect that the earth might revolve around the sun? How did Christopher Columbus abuse his knowledge of a lunar eclipse predicted by an astronomical almanac? Packed with anecdotes and intriguing detail, this book describes how we observed the sky and interpreted what we saw at different periods of history; how this influenced our beliefs and mythology; and how great astronomers contributed to what we now know. The result is a lively and highly visual history of astronomy - a compelling read for specialists and non-specialists alike.