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An accessible exposition of gravitation theory and celestial mechanics, this classic volume was written by a distinguished Soviet astronomer. It explains with exceptional clarity the methods used by physicists in studying celestial phenomena. A historical introduction explains the Ptolemaic view of planetary motion and its displacement by the studies of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. Succeeding chapters examine the making of celestial observations and measurements; perturbed motion; satellite technology, including a detailed look at the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I; planetary rotation; the calculation of units of time; and the motions of the stars.