By John M. Steele

the invention of a gentle acceleration within the moon’s suggest movement by means of Edmond Halley within the final decade of the 17th century resulted in a revival of curiosity in stories of astronomical observations from antiquity. those observations supplied the single skill to review the moon’s ‘secular acceleration’, as this newly-discovered acceleration turned identified. This booklet comprises the 1st unique examine of using historic and medieval astronomical observations so that it will examine the moon’s secular acceleration from its discovery via Halley to the institution of the significance of the acceleration through Richard Dunthorne, Tobias Mayer and Jérôme Lalande within the 1740s and 1750s. Making vast use of formerly unstudied manuscripts, this paintings exhibits how assorted astronomers used a similar small physique of preserved old observations in numerous methods of their paintings at the secular acceleration. furthermore, this paintings seems on the wider context of the examine of the moon’s secular acceleration, together with its use in debates of biblical chronology, no matter if the heavens have been made from æther, and using astronomy in identifying geographical longitude. It additionally discusses wider problems with the perceptions and information of historic and medieval astronomy within the early-modern interval. This publication might be of curiosity to historians of astronomy, astronomers and historians of the traditional world.

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