An unparalleled history of astronomy told through 100 primary documents--from the Maya's first recorded efforts to predict the cycles of Venus to the 1998 paper that posited an accelerating universe. Award-winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak is a wonderfully compelling guide in this sweeping overview. Her authoritative, accessible commentaries on each document provide historical context and underscore the more intriguing and revolutionary aspects of the discoveries. Here are records of the earliest naked-eye celestial observations and cosmic mappings; the discovery of planets; the first attempts to measure the speed of light and the distance of stars; the classification of stars; the introduction of radio and x-ray astronomy; the discovery of black holes, quasars, dark matter, the Big Bang, and much more. Here is the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Halley, Hubble, and Einstein, as well as that of dozens of lesser-known scientists who have significantly contributed to our picture of the universe. An enthralling, comprehensive history that spans more than two millennia--this is essential reading for professional astronomers, science history buffs, and backyard stargazers alike. "From the Hardcover edition.