Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time - Chapter 3: Adrift in a Clockwork Universe Summary & Analysis

Dava Sobel
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Chapter 3: Adrift in a Clockwork Universe Summary and Analysis

This chapter concerns the possibility of a lunar solution to the problem of the longitude. Stars moves with regularity over time and so hold the potential of serving as a "celestial" clock. In 1514, German astronomer Johannes Werner used the motion of the moon in such a way. But the "lunar distance" method required detailed knowledge of the motion of stars, which no one had. A century later, Galileo thought he could use the motion of Jupiter's moons as a clock, but the plan was too complex. Fifty years later, Cassini produced a better map but his plan faced a similar problem - it was excessively complicated. In future decades, particularly in France and England, people looked for a solution with the earth's moon, particularly a young man named John Flamsteed. Flamsteed...

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This section contains 251 words
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Buy the Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Study Guide
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