Steel melds his knowledge of history and science in a highly readable book. To propel his discussion of celestial bodies, he uses the fuel of such stories as:
* Einstein's theory of relativity as vindicated by an Eclipse
* Alexander's defeat of Darius the day after an eclipse in 331 BC.
* The bible's use of moon language, speaking of days where the moon will be darkened (some kind of eclipse?)
With facts like this, Steel keeps us following a provocative discussion of the moon and its cycles. The history lessons are interspersed with scientific facts so that after a while one doesn't know if he is reading a history book or a science novel.
As the author points out, the Eclipse as a phenomena in the sky held special cultic meaning for the Ancient Near Eastern religions (esp. the Egyptians). But one is left wondering if Steel is accurate at all points of history. For example, when arguing from the Bible about supposed eclipse accounts therein, he sees the story Abraham as alluding to one, "And when the sun was going down...great darkness fell upon him." Because he sees this text as an eclipse, he dates the time of Abraham to 9 May 1533 BC 6:30pm. What is interesting in this is that there is an actual internet database maintained by NASA that allows the author (and us!) to track all eclipses for all time. Indeed, there was an eclipse visible in Jerusalem in 1533, but does that mean that the text in question is talking about an eclipse? Steel may be misreading the biblical data, but it is only a small distraction from his great book.
It should be noted, Steel's book is not only about the moon, but about all of the celestial bodies and man's reaction to their appearances (Mars, comets, famous meteor storms, etc.).
This book is a good introduction for the novice about such things as "blue moons", "the diamond ring" affect, eclipses in general, the calendar and the moon, and other such relevant topics.
I first heard of Duncan Steel when he was interviewed on NPR in June of 2002; the audio of that was once available on the internet.
Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History (英語) ハードカバー – 2001/10/1
Duncan Steel, With a foreword by Paul Davies
- 出版社 : Joseph Henry Pr (2001/10/1)
- 発売日 : 2001/10/1
- 言語 : 英語
- ハードカバー : 474ページ
- ISBN-10 : 030907438X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0309074384
- 寸法 : 13.34 x 3.81 x 17.78 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 2,239,508位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
A chance encounter2013年2月22日にアメリカ合衆国でレビュー済み
On a lonely road in the Australian outback,November 14, 2012, who should drive up and pull over to watch the total solar eclipse with us, but Duncan Steel! Came straight home and ordered his book. What an experience! Can't wait to read his book.