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Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow

David Clarke

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How Astronomy contributed to the educational enlightenment of Glasgow, to its society and to its commerce

The words ‘Astronomy’ and ‘Glasgow’ seem an incongruous juxtaposition, and yet the two are closely linked over 500 years of history. This is a tale of enlightenment and scientific progress at both institutional and public levels. Combined with the ambitions of civic commerce, it is a story populated with noteworthy personalities and intense rivalries.

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About the Author

David Clarke is a Practical Astronomer and has worked around the world on optical telescopes and on space missions such as Skylab and Pioneer 10. His main focus is Astronomical Polarimetry, having designed instruments to study scattering processes within stellar atmospheres, the interstellar medium and the Earth’s atmosphere. Spending most of his career within Glasgow University in Education and Research as Observatory Director, his energies have now turned to exploring historical themes.


The detail is often fascinating, and rearly irrelevant, and I can recommend the book strongly.
- Robert Cannon Smith, The Observatory Magazine, Volume 134, No 1240.