“A thrilling historical account of the rise of astrophysics, the early years of astronomical photography and spectroscopy, and the innovations that transformed the astronomical telescope in the nineteenth century. Alan Hirshfeld’s thoroughly researched narrative is accessible, entertaining, and scholarly, and includes many pioneers who have been overlooked until now. I greatly admire this outstanding contribution to the history of astronomy.”

Simon Mitton, co-author of Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe and author of Fred Hoyle: A Life in Science