Astronomical Problems – Vorontsov-Vel’yaminov

In this post, we will see the book Astronomical Problems: Any Introductory Course in Astronomy by B. A. Vorontsov-Vel’yaminov. We had earlier seen his book Essays About The Universe.

About the book

AN IMPORTANT part in the teaching of any technical subject, in higher educational establishments as well as schools, is experience in the solution of problems. As well as providing practice in the methods of computation, it enables the teacher to follow the students’ progress both in comprehension and application of theory. The literature of astronomy is badly lacking in this respect, both in quantity and range of topics; and in fact the author is aware of the existence of only one textbook devoted to exercises in astronomy. This is “Astronomical Problems” ( Astronomicheskii zadachi), a textbook for young people by Professor N. P. Kamenschikov, published in 1923.

This textbook is intended for use in universities, teachers’ training colleges, and in school college preparatory or sixth forms. The syllabus covered by all three types of institution is much the same, the differences lying in the depth rather than the field of learning. For this reason the material in each chapter is
divided into two sections. The first section is elementary. The second section is more difficult, set approximately at the level of the teachers’ training colleges.

In each section the problems are grouped into sub-topics, and set in order of increasing difficulty. In every chapter the problems are preceded by a summary of the theory and the formulae to be exercised, under headings I and II, applying to sections I and II, respectively. Problems are presented, requiring both exact and
approximate solutions, so that on occasion the same data may be repeated with varying degrees of accuracy.

We have presented two, and exceptionally three, examples of the most typical problems, so that the teacher may use one or more for demonstration, leaving a similar exercise for the student. However, the author realizes that students become frustrated if presented with the same problem, under different formulations (e.g. Nos. 29 and 30), and the teacher is asked to note that this occurs in a number of places in the book.

In the preparation of this book, the author used the books referred to in the first Russian Edition of this work. As many of the problems are unoriginal, or “natural”, the source of a problem is given only in those cases where the problem seemed unusual. Many of the problems and exercises were devised by the
author, but only about 300 of these (marked with an asterisk*) appear to be unique in the literature. Ninety per cent of the problems borrowed by the author were originally published without answers.

The book was translated from Russian by P. M. Rabbitt, and was published in 1969.

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Preface vii

Introduction: How to Solve Astronomical Problems ix

Chapter 1 Interpolation 1

Chapter 2 The Celestial Sphere 7

Chapter 3 Systems of Celestial Coordinates 12

Chapter 4 Culmination, The Determination of Geographical Latitude And Coordinates of Celestial Bodies 27

Chapter 5 Refraction 36

Chapter 6 The Apparent Motion of The Sun 40

Chapter 7 The Determination of Time and Longitude 44

Chapter 8 The Calendar 60

Chapter 9 The Rising and Setting of a Heavenly Body 64

Chapter 10 Precession 71

Chapter 11 Problems Solved With The Help of Celestial Globe 75

Chapter 12 Planetary Movement 81

Chapter 13 Parallax and Aberration 101

Chapter 14 The Earth 110

Chapter 15 The Movement and Phases of The Moon 123

Chapter 16 Eclipses 129

Chapter 17 Gravitation 136

Chapter 18 Astronomical Instruments and Methods 149

Chapter 19 The Moon 161

Chapter 20 The Planets 164

Chapter 21 Comets 171

Chapter 22 Meteors and Meteorites 178

Chapter 23 The Sun 186

Chapter 24 The Movements and The Nature of Stars 195

Chapter 25 Double Stars 213

Chapter 26 Variable Stars and Novae 225

Chapter 27 The Structure of the Universe 234

Chapter 28 Miscellaneous Problems 239

Answers and Solutions 247

Appendix 295



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1 Response to Astronomical Problems – Vorontsov-Vel’yaminov

  1. Pingback: Astronomical Problems – Vorontsov-Vel’yaminov — Mir Books | Chet Aero Marine

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