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Thinking Outside the Sphere Views of the Stars from Aristotle to Herschel

CATALOG OF THE EXHIBITION Linda Hall Library Cynthia J. Rogers, Curator


Thinking Outside the Sphere

A Constellation of Rare Books from the History of Science Collection

The exhibition was made possible by generous support from Mr. & Mrs. James B. Hebenstreit and Mrs. Lathrop M. Gates.

Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology 5109 Cherry Street Kansas City MO 64110


Thinking Outside the Sphere is held in copyright by the Linda Hall Library, 2010, and any reproduction of text or images requires permission.

The exhibition opened at the Linda Hall Library April 22 and closed September 18, 2010.

Sources of images on preliminary pages: On the cover: Peter Apian. Cosmographia, 1550. Half-title: Camille Flammarion. L'atmosphère météorologie populaire, 1888. Table of contents page: Leonhard Euler. Theoria motuum planetarum et cometarum, 1744.


The Linda Hall Library is an independent public library of science, engineering and technology which is used extensively by companies, academic institutions and individuals throughout the world. The Library was established by the wills of Herbert and Linda Hall and opened in 1946.

It is located on a 14 acre arboretum in Kansas City, Missouri, the site of the former home of Herbert and Linda Hall. We invite you to visit the library or our website at www.lindahlll.org.

THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION is the library's special collection of rare books on science, engineering, and technology. It includes printed books from the fifteenth century to the present. Additional materials to support historical research are available in the library's general collections of over one million volumes.


Table of Contents Introduction Section1 The Ancient Universe Section2 The Enduring Earth-Centered System Section3 The Sun Takes Center Stage Section4 The Spheres of the Planets Shatter Section5 The Sphere of the Fixed Stars Dissolves Section6 Motive Forces and the Stars Section7 Plurality of Worlds Section8 Measuring the Distance to the Stars Section9 From Solar Systems to Star Systems Section10 The First Map of the Galaxy Multiple Galaxies Confirmed: Coda Bibliography of Works Exhibited References from Secondary Sources List of Secondary Works Cited About the Exhibit


Introduction:

From a Crystalline Sphere to a Plurality of Worlds

Andreas Cellarius. Harmonia macrocosmica, 1661. Table of Contents

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Renaissance works of astronomy beautifully illustrate the stars fixed in a crystalline sphere at the perimeter of an earth-centered universe that had been conceived in ancient times. This sphere of the fixed stars was thought to rotate, setting the lower spheres of the planets in motion in their orbits around the unmoving earth. Nicolaus Copernicus stopped the motion of the stars but preserved them in their sphere. When a comet passed through the supposed solid spheres of the planets in 1577 and proved them to be nonexistent, astronomers rejected the concept of an orb of the stars as well, allowing them to be dispersed. In 1644, RenĂŠ Descartes placed our sun among the stars and appointed them with their own satellites, heralding a dramatic change in our perception of the universe. In the eighteenth century, the sun and other stars were perceived as comprising a star system, resulting in the first map of the galaxy in 1785.

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Section 1:

The Ancient Universe

Johannes Blaeu. Atlas maior, siue, Cosmographia Blauiana, 1662 (v.1, intro). Table of Contents


Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Ancient philosophers set the stage for the role that the stars would play until the seventeenth century. Plato's Timaeus established the sphere of the stars and its circular movement. He described the sphere's dominion over the motion of the planets and sketched in broad strokes the size, speed, and direction of their orbits within it. Aristotle provided the physical foundations for the motions of the planets, defining the number of spheres required to account for their observed motions. He established the necessity of the role of the fixed stars in moving the planets in their orbits. Epicycles were fully integrated into this earth-centered system by Ptolemy in part to account for retrograde motion. He refined the model into an effective and accurate tool for predicting the motions of the planets.

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Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Plato (427-347 BCE). Timaeus. Paris: Badius Ascencius, 1520. Plato's cosmological work, Timaeus, introduced the concept of the sphere of the stars. The whole sphere was “a true cosmos or glorious world spangled…all over” with the stars. The starry sphere controlled the motion of the planets contained within it. In his Republic, this idea was part of a tale of a soldier, slain in battle, who returned to life while on his funeral pyre and told of what his soul had seen during a journey that seemed to last a thousand years. This hero, named Er, had traveled to a column of light, like a spindle, that extended up into the sky. The universe fitted onto it like a whorl of nested hemispheres. “There is one large hollow whorl which is quite scooped out, and into this is fitted another lesser one, and…others, making eight in all, like vessels which fit into one another. The largest is spangled...” and the others carried the planets.

BibrefsPlato1520

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Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Aristotle (384-322 BCE). Opera. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1495. This volume, open to the first page of Aristotle’s On the Heavens, is one of a set of five that comprise the first publication of Aristotle’s works in their original Greek. Aristotle, a student of Plato, lent his genius to a comprehensive treatment of cosmology that matched his brilliant investigations into the rest of the natural world. In the process, he established the necessity of the spherical shape of the universe.

BibrefsAristotle1495

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Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Aristotle. (384-322 BCE). Aristotelis Stagiritae De coelo… Cum Averrois ... variis in eosdem commentariis. Venice: Iuntas, 1550. This commentary on Aristotle’s De Caelo (On the Heavens) was written by the twelfth century philosopher Averroes. Aristotle assigned the motion of the sphere of the stars to God as the final cause. This heavenly source of rotation was associated with its shape. “The perfect is naturally prior to the imperfect, and the circle is a perfect thing.....it follows that the body which revolves with a circular movement must be spherical... The bodies below the sphere of the planets are contiguous with the sphere above them. The sphere then will be spherical throughout.” BibrefsAristotle1550

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Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Regiomontanus (1436-1476) Epytoma in Almagestu Ptolemei. Venice: Landoia, 1496. The second century astronomer, Claudius Ptolemy, revolutionized astronomy by transforming the concentric spheres model into a highly effective tool for predicting the motions of the planets. His epic mathematical achievement was simply called the Almagest, or “great work�. This fifteenth century epitome of his book is one of the most highly regarded distillations of Ptolemy’s Almagest ever printed. An accomplished astronomer and a master of the Greek language, Regiomontanus took over the project from Georg von Peurbach, who had completed the first six (of thirteen) chapters before his death. Although Regiomontanus completed it in 1462, it was not printed until after Regiomontanus had also died. In this image, the author and Ptolemy sit together below a model of the geocentric system, with the starry vault above. Although the two astronomers were separated by a dozen centuries, the view of the cosmos had changed but little.

BibrefsRegiomontanus1495

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Section 1: The Ancient Universe

Ptolemy (100-170 CE) Almagestum. Venice: Petrus Liechtenstein, 1515. Ptolemy made precise observations of the stars, and recorded them in his star catalog. It is printed for the first time in this edition of his Almagest. On this page, the decorated initial letter “B” shows one astronomer making observations while the another records them. The sphere of the fixed stars was at the perimeter of Ptolemy’s astronomical system, but the orbits of the planets in his system no longer reflected its symmetry. Ptolemy diverged from Aristotle’s ideal system by introducing the idea that the earth was not the precise center of the orbits of the planets. This insistence upon representing the true motion of the celestial bodies made them seem more real and less divine. For this he was criticized by some philosophers.

BibrefsPtolemy1515

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Section 2:

The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Robert Fludd. Utriusque cosmi maioris, 1617. Table of Contents


Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

In the Renaissance few ancient ideas were more esteemed than the spherical form that was ascribed to the starry realm. The heavenly vault was celebrated in words and engravings. Many earthcentered works of astronomy were published long after Copernicus suggested placing the sun in the center of the universe in 1543. In this 1617 work by Robert Fludd, Astronomia is shown chained to the power of the Deity, conferring the astrological influences of the celestial bodies onto the earth, where they affect human activities. Astronomia’s crown, intersecting the eighth sphere, relays the motion of the stars to the planets, setting the Ptolemaic universe in motion. For this author and many others, the heavenly spheres of the planets continued to move by the guided influence of the outermost sphere of the fixed stars.

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Peurbach, Georg von. Theoricae novae planetarum. Basel: Henric petrina, 1573. Building on the work of Apollonius of Perga and particularly of Hipparchus, Ptolemy developed an intricate system to account for the retrograde motion of the planets. In his scheme, each planet was attached to a small circle, called an epicycle, which moved it in a small orbit. The epicycle was attached in turn to a larger circle, or deferent, which moved around the earth. By adjusting the size and speed of these orbits, Ptolemy was able to make his system match the observed motions of the planets. Peurbach gave the theoretical epicyclic system of Ptolemy a more physical presence, making the cosmos seem more tangible. Images of three-dimensional models, such as this one of the orbit of Mercury, emphasized the solid nature of the spheres, as did the text, which described an epicycle as being “immersed in the depth” of its orb, and referred to “the cavity in which the epicycle is situated”. This work was completed by 1454 and was first published in 1472. BibrefsPeurbach1573

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Sacrobosco, Johannes. De sphaera. Venice: Ratdolt, 1482. This popular astronomy textbook by a thirteenth century author was produced in numerous versions and iterations. In this edition of the book, the printer Erhard Ratdolt includes another work, by Georg von Peurbach, entitled Theoricae novae planetarum (New theory of the planets), with handcolored illustrations of Peurbach’s work. This one shows the sun in yellow, moving in its epicycle around the earth. The work includes a ten page section “On the motion of the eighth sphere”, or the sphere of the fixed stars.

BibrefsSacrobosco1482

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Schreckenfuchs, Erasmus Oswald. Commentaria, in Nouas theoricas planetarum Georgii Purbachii. Basel: Petri, 1556. In this commentary of Peurbach’s New theory of the planets, all of Peurbach’s individual diagrams depicting the epicyclic motions of the celestial bodies are gathered together on one plate. During the sixteenth and the early seventeenth centuries, the spheres of the planets and of the fixed stars were often described as solid, crystalline orbs. These illustrations of hand-held physical models represented the complicated machinations of a real, rather than ideal, Ptolemaic cosmos.

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Sacrobosco, Johannes. Sphaera mundi. Venice: Scoti, 1490. This edition of Sacrobosco’s textbook is graced with a beautiful frontispiece. It shows a personification of Astronomy enthroned in the center, holding an astrolabe in her right hand and an armillary sphere representing the earth-centered system of Ptolemy in her left. She is flanked by Ptolemy and Urania, the muse of astronomy. The flora and fauna of earth are below them, with the starry vault of the heavens above. It has a section “On the motion of the eighth sphere” that is slightly shorter than in the 1482 edition.

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Hyginus De mundi et sphere. Venice: Sessa, 1512. This work was usually called the Poeticon Astronomicon. It describes and presents images of the constellations, arranged in the same order as Ptolemy’s catalog of stars. The image on the title page is interesting to compare with the frontispiece of the 1490 edition of Sacrobosco. In the Hyginus, Ptolemy has taken the place of Astronomia in the center, where he is now enthroned. He, instead of Astronomia as in the Sacrobosco, is holding an astrolabe and an armillary sphere, while Astronomia and Urania stand on the earth below, with the stars above them. The zodiac is shown among several heavens above.

BibrefsHyginus1512

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Fine, Oronce. De mundi sphaera. Paris: Colinaei, 1542. Fine taught mathematics at the Collège Royal in Paris. He wrote several works, including this general treatise of astronomy. It describes the earth, the earth-centered cosmos, and Ptolemy’s epicyclic system. Earlier in his career, Fine was an editor for a Parisian printer. Among the works he edited were Peurbach’s Theoricae novae planetarum, and an edition of Apian’s Cosmographia. He was also a fine artist, creating this stunning illustration himself. It depicts Urania, the muse of astronomy, pointing to an armillary sphere, while the author displays an astrolabe. Some years earlier, Fine had published a book about a similar instrument, called an equatorium, used to predict the positions of the planets. The same goal was achieved in the Ptolemaic astronomical system, represented in the armillary sphere in simple outline. BibrefsFine1515

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Apian, Peter. Cosmographia. Antwerp: Bontio, 1550. This image clearly illustrates the earth-centered cosmos. The earth is the central feature, surrounded by the spheres of the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, all encompassed by the eighth sphere of the fixed stars. Beyond this lies the ninth, (“crystalline�) sphere that had been introduced to account for precession. The tenth sphere is that of the Primum Mobile (first mover), which was first described by Aristotle. Beyond the Primum Mobile, which was moved by the spirit of God, lies the celestial heaven, inhabited by God and the fortunate elect.

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Fludd, Robert. Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atque technica historia. Oppenheim: Aere JohanTheodori de Bry ; typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1617. Fludd presents the cosmos as a biblical allegory in this image. The globe of the earth is illustrated with the figures of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; the narrative of Creation in Genesis is represented by the fish of the sea and birds of the air. The sun, moon, and planets created on the fourth day are shown in the middle region. The thin sphere of the fixed stars is insignificant compared to the abundant realm of the angels. Divided according to tradition into three spheres, the angels represent nine orders, or Angelic Choirs. Nearest to the sphere of the fixed stars are the angels that serve as messengers to humankind. In the next row, or heaven, are the angels representing justice. The angels in the outermost row are the Seraphim and Cherubim, who guard the throne of God. The dove represents the Holy Spirit. BibrefsFludd1617

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Gallucci, Giovanni Paolo. Theatrum mundi, et temporis. Venice: Apud Ioannem Baptistam Somascum, 1588. This unusual image captures the three dimensional aspect of the crystalline sphere of the fixed stars; it was more often shown in cross section as a ring. The “eighth sphere�, as the heading reads, is transparent, and the earth can be seen clearly through it. While the illustration is depicting a tabletop model, the idea that it conveys about the stars agrees with the persistent perception of some astronomers that the stars were held within a solid orb. Although this work appeared sixty years after Copernicus introduced his sun-centered system, it depicts only the earth-centered system, describing the epicycles of Ptolemy.

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Clavius, Christoph. In sphaeram Ioannis de Sacro Bosco commentaries. Rome: Helianum, 1570. Clavius was a gifted and influential Jesuit mathematician. As a professor at the Collegio Romano, his impressive application of mathematics to astronomy drew many more Jesuit students into the field. Clavius understood the mathematical concepts of the Copernican system, but he was a confirmed geocentrist, arguing forcefully against the motion of the earth. Like Aristotle, he believed that the unmoving earth was at the center of the universe, as represented in this image.

BibrefsClavius1570

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Clavius, Christoph. Operum mathematicorum . Mainz: sumptibus Antonii Hierat; Excudebat Reinhardus Eltz, 1611. The suggestion that the earth moved was an insult to Clavius’ faith. This title page features two illustrations of Bible passages that were thought to conflict with the Copernican system. The round vignette at the lower right shows Joshua and his army in battle, and a miracle: “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down” until they were victorious. This seemed to prove that the sun moves; not the earth. In the round vignette at the lower left, a miracle from the second book of Kings is shown. When Hezekiah was about to die, God moved the shadow on a sundial back ten degrees as a sign proving to Hezekiah that he would live. This was taken to mean that the sun had moved backward, again providing scriptural evidence that the sun, not the earth, moves.

BibrefsClavius1611

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Scheiner, Christoph. Disquisitiones mathematicae de controversiis et novitatibus astronomicis. Ingolstadt: Ex typographeo Ederiano apud Elisabetham Angermariam, 1614. Aristotle’s spherical cosmos was admired by Christoph Scheiner, a Jesuit professor of mathematics at Ingolstadt, Germany. Like Clavius, Scheiner rejected the sun-centered system of Copernicus. In this illustration, he demonstrates why it would be impossible for the earth to rotate by providing a few examples. Birds would lose their way and cannonballs would miss their mark if the earth turned below them. The rotation of the earth is indeed counterintuitive, and the apparent absurdity of the idea was a major reason for its rejection until Galileo began to convince astronomers of the logic of it in his Dialogue of 1632. The sphere of the fixed stars continued to be perceived as the motive force for the planets until motion was finally awarded to the earth instead.

BibrefsScheiner1614

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Gassendi, Pierre. Institutio astronomica. London: Typis Jacobi Flesher; Prostant apud Gulielmum Morden, 1653. This is an example of an illustration of the earth-centered cosmos that is found in a work that actually argues against that model. Gassendi preferred the sun-centered system, although he considered it to be unproven. Gassendi subscribed to an atomistic theory of his own, influenced by the ancient atomists and RenĂŠ Descartes, but less mechanistic and differently imbued with the divine. Gassendi suggested that the magnetic force that Johann Kepler ascribed to the sun, holding the planets around it in their orbits, was an effect of moving particles.

BibrefsGassendi1653

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Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System

Lipstorp, Daniel. Specimina philosophiae Cartesianae. Quibus accredit ijusdem authoris Copernicus redivivus. Leiden: apud Johannem & Danielem Elsevier. 1653. This is another example of a geocentric image used in a book arguing against that model. Lipstorp subscribed to the universal system of Descartes. The heading above the illustration describes it as the “absurd hypothesis” of Ptolemy. Lipstorp and other astronomers objected not only to the complicated epicycles (that cannot be shown in the image), but also to the number of heavenly spheres. In the diagram, the ninth sphere, beyond the eighth sphere of the fixed stars, was to account for precession; the tenth, or primum mobile, caused the motion of those below, and the eleventh was heaven, or the “coelum empyreum”. Some astronomers substituted a sphere to account for trepidation for the primum mobile. Some Jesuit astronomers restricted the heavens to the three in scripture: the empyreum, the sidereum, and the aereum, rejecting the other spheres as mathematical constructs.

BibrefsLipstorp1650

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Section 3:

The Sun Takes Center Stage

Johannes Blaeu. Atlas maior, siue, Cosmographia Blauiana, 1662 (v.1, intro). Table of Contents


Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage

The Copernican system retained the sphere of the fixed stars when it was presented in 1543, and for that reason supporters of both the sun-centered universe and the earth-centered cosmos visualized the stars in their appointed outermost sphere. Below, the Ptolemaic, Copernican and Tychonic models of the universe all display the starry border. The sphere of stars was often illustrated in the form of the figured zodiac. Not apparent in the heliocentric images is the revolution of the earth which replaced the motion of the stellar orb.

Johann Zahn. Specula physico-mathematico-historica notabilium ac mirabilium sciendorum, 1696. 51


Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage

Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica, sev Atlas universalis et nouus. Amsterdam: apud Joannem Janssonium, 1661. When the printer, Janson, conceived this astronomical atlas, he wished to present, in a realistic manner, “the concavity or hollow and interior curve of the heavenly sphere”; his words indicate the persistence of the idea of the spherical universe. Cellarius was selected as the author of the text and chief designer of the entire work. This richly illustrated handcolored engraving of the sun-centered system portrays Copernicus in the lower right corner, with Ptolemy across from him. Echoing Aristotle, Copernicus had written in 1543 in his famous work On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres: “the universe is spherical; partly because this form… is the most perfect of all”. He then parts radically with the ancient philosopher: “But in the center of all resides the Sun. Who, indeed, in this most magnificent temple would put the light in another, or in a better place than that one wherefrom it could at the same time illuminate the whole of it?” BibrefsCellarius1661

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Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage

Scheuchzer, Johann. Phisica sacra. Augsburg: [s.n.], 1734. The sphere of the fixed stars was often represented by the more visually exciting, figured zodiac. Known as the “Copper Bible� (it illustrates the bible with images from the field of science), this work contains hundreds of copperplate engravings created by more than a dozen artists. This illustration of the cosmos presents an extremely small representation of the earth. It is interesting to compare this to the very prominent earth featured in the Cellarius plate. In the seventeenth century, the memory of the earth’s central position in the geocentric universe continued to enhance its importance in illustrations; by the eighteenth century it was sometimes viewed as just another planet as in this engraving.

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Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage

Wing, Vincent. Harmonicon coeleste : or, The coelestiall harmony of the visible world. London: Printed by Robert Leybourn, for the Company of Stationers, 1651. Early in his career, Vincent Wing was a geocentrist, but by the time this book was printed, Wing and most serious astronomers had accepted heliocentrism. The sphere of the fixed stars is delicately shown at the perimeter of his diagram. Copernicus himself retained the sphere of the fixed stars in part because it provided a frame for his system, but it no longer moved the spheres below it. Until the Copernican system was a proven fact, the role of the outermost sphere of the stars was undecided. After Galileo successfully argued that the suncentered system was true (his observations of a full set of phases of Venus would not be visible in Ptolemy’s system) and not simply a mathematical construct, astronomers eventually accepted that the sphere of the stars did not move the spheres of the planets.

BibrefsWing1651

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Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage

Wright, Thomas. Clavis coelestis. London: Printed for the Author; and sold by E. Cave [et al], 1742. In this dramatic image of the solar system, the sphere of the fixed stars is replaced with the symbol of infinity: a snake eating its tail. The heading pays homage to the very ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras. One of his followers, Philolaus, conceived of a cosmos that placed the earth among the other planets, orbiting a central fire. Philolaus is indeed the ancient author whose cosmology is cited by Copernicus in his dedication to his 1543 work: “Some think that the Earth remains at rest. But Philolaus the Pythagorean believes that, like the Sun and Moon, it revolves around the Fire in an oblique circle. Heraclides of Pontus and Ecphantus the Pythagorean make the Earth move… like a wheel in a rotation… about its own center.” In referring to ancient sources, Copernicus sought to soften the shocking novelty of the orbit and rotation of the earth in his system.

BibrefsWright1742

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Section 4:

The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Tycho Brahe. De mundi aetherei, 1603.

Table of Contents


Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Since ancient times, the heavenly realm of the planets and stars was considered eternal and unchanging. Aristotle wrote that no changes had ever been recorded there. But observations of a new star and a comet altered that perception. In 1572, Tycho Brahe discovered a new star (we would call it a supernova today) that appeared in the constellation Cassiopia, in the sphere of the fixed stars. The event proved that the realm of the stars underwent change after all, and the stars seemed suddenly less fixed in their orb. In 1577, Brahe discovered a comet crashing through spaces where spheres of the planets were supposed to be. The discovery caused many astronomers to abandon the idea of planetary spheres and accept that the space they occupied was more fluid. Aristotle wrote that the sphere is the one shape that our perfect cosmos must have. The new star in the heavens, signifying change and therefore imperfection, together with the loss of the planetary orbs, challenged the nested spheres model.

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Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Brahe, Tycho. Learned: Tico Brahæ, his astronomicall coniectur of the new and much admired [star]. London: by B[ernard] A[lsop] and T[homas F[awcet] for Michaell [Sparks] and Samuell Nealand, 1632. Tycho Brahe made regular observations of the stars and planets, and one fall evening in 1572 while walking outdoors, he looked up at the sky and saw something strange. He was thoroughly familiar with the arrangement of the stars, and this night there was a bright star in the constellation of Cassiopeia that had never been there before. He had observed a new star, or what we would call a supernova today. He was overwhelmed by the experience: I was so astonished at this sight that I was not ashamed to doubt the trustworthiness of my own eyes…A miracle indeed…the greatest of all that have occurred in the whole range of nature since the beginning of the world. Aristotle had taught that no changes occurred in the realm of the stars and planets, and this discovery challenged that doctrine. This rare translation was the first appearance in English of Brahe’s original 1573 work. BibrefsBrahe1632

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Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Blaue, Johannes. Atlas maior, siue, Cosmographia Blauiana. v.1. Amsterdam: Labore & sumptibus Ioannis Blaeu, 1662. “Your Majesty must on no account permit Tycho to leave,” wrote a Danish nobleman to the king, “for Denmark would lose its greatest ornament.” Tycho Brahe was one of the world’s greatest astronomers, and he is shown here in this engraving of a painting that was on the wall above one of his astronomical instruments, the mural quadrant. This was part of his observatory, Uraniborg, on the island of Hven. The king had presented Brahe with liberal funds to design and build the impressive facility, which dominated the island. In 1577, Brahe observed a comet there and made the astounding discovery that the comet was not confined to the sub-lunar sphere, but had crashed through the spaces where the planetary spheres were thought to be. This was a direct challenge to the Aristotelian spheres of the planets. Tycho responded by producing his own universal system without solid spheres, presented in his work: The Most Recent Phenomena of the Ethereal World. In that treatise he announced: “Truly there are no Orbs in reality in the Heavens…but those which the experts have invented for the sake of appearances…” BibrefsBlaeu1662 65


Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Kepler, Johannes. De stella nova in pede Serpentarii. Prague: Typis Pauli Sessii; impensis authoris 1606. New stars continued to blot what Aristotle had called the “incorruptible” realm of the celestial heavens. A new star in the constellation Cygnus was discovered in 1600 by William Blaeu, the astronomer/printer whose son produced the sumptuous atlas in this case. That star is shown here in this work by Johann Kepler, who himself discovered a new star in 1604 in the constellation Opiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer. While Kepler acknowledged change in the stellar sphere, he did not dissolve it. He estimated its extent to be 2000 times larger than the orbit of Saturn. He rejected the planetary spheres, writing (as a passing phrase in his profoundly influential work of astronomy published in 1609): “Now Tycho himself destroyed the notion of real orbs.”

BibrefsKepler1606

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Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Kepler, Johannes. De cometis libelli tres. Augsburg: Typis Andreae Apergeri, 1619. Astronomers such as Georg von Peurbach had increased the perception that the planetary spheres were solid, rather than geometrical devices alone. But Tycho Brahe’s analysis of the comet of 1577 shattered the solid spheres. Other comets continued to soar through the now-fluid realm of the planets. This book by Kepler, describing his observations of the comets of 1607 and 1618, includes this impressive image showing the trajectory of a comet passing through the orbits of Mercury, Venus, and Earth. The comet with its tail is shown in its position at various dates during its appearance.

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Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter

Beati, Gabriele. Sphaera triplex … Rome: Typis Varesij, 1662. Beati wished to show the physical appearance of the cosmos; he did not show the purely geometrical lines of the planetary orbits in this unusual image. The planets seem to float aimlessly in a fluid medium, but Tycho Brahe’s system has been shown to correspond to the image when superimposed over it. The depiction of the sphere of the fixed stars as having an irregular edge is also uncommon. The edge has hollows that accommodate the supercelestial waters that cool the firmament, according to Beati’s interpretation of scripture. Invoking an ancient Greek comparison, Beati wrote that the planets move through the fluid heaven as birds fly through air or fishes swim in the sea. Christoph Clavius specifically rejected this comparison, presenting it as an absurdity. He preferred explanations derived from Aristotle’s Metaphysics, which described “the number of all the spheres, both those which move the planets and those which counteract these.” BibrefsBeati1662

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Section 5:

The Sphere of the Fixed Stars Dissolves

John Wilkins. A discourse concerning a new world & another planet, 1640 (detail).

Table of Contents


Section 5: The Sphere of the Fixed Stars Dissolves

Inspired by the comet of 1577 that signaled the rejection of the concept of planetary spheres, Giordano Bruno pleaded to abolish the sphere of the fixed stars as well. In 1584, he wrote: "Break and hurl to earth with the resounding whirlwind of lively reasoning...the adamantine walls of the...ultimate sphere." The time had come. If the cosmos had no solid planetary spheres, it was difficult to rationalize one for the stars. Some astronomers, such as Thomas Digges, dissolved the sphere of the fixed stars after it lost its role in moving the planets in the sun-centered system; others were finally convinced by the comet. Some broadened the sphere, depicting the stars as occupying a thicker stellar orb; a few abolished it altogether.

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Section 5: The Sphere of the Fixed Stars Dissolves

Bruno, Giordano. De triplici minimo et mensura… Frankfurt: Apud Ioannem Wechelum & Petrum Fischerum , 1591. After the comet of 1577, Bruno brazenly challenged philosophers to dissolve the sphere of the stars along with the spheres of the planets. Bruno believed, as did other philosophers and many astronomers, that the elaborate geometrical devices of the solid spheres were too far removed from physical reality and from spirituality. This work is the first of a trilogy published in Frankfurt. At his trial (Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600), he stated that this trilogy distilled his entire philosophy. Ostensibly a source book of Euclidean proofs, this volume is instead a statement about what was missing in mathematics: a link to the divinity of number. This image, identified as Temple of Venus, represents the love and divinity present in the atom and in the infinite universe. Bruno carved the woodblocks for the prints himself. “Convince our minds of the infinite universe. Rend in pieces the concave and convex surfaces which would limit and separate so many elements and heavens. Pour ridicule on deferent orbs and on fixed stars. Break and hurl to earth with the resounding whirlwind of lively reasoning…, the adamantine walls of the primum mobile and the ultimate sphere.” -- Giordano Bruno. From his On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584.

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Digges, Leonard. A prognostication everlastinge of right good effect, with additions by his sonne Thomas. London: by the widow Orwin, 1596. A few years before Bruno pleaded to abolish the sphere of the fixed stars, Thomas Digges showed how it could be done in this novel image of the stars released from their sphere. His text provided the first English translation (of part of book1) of Copernicus’ work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres. Digges presented his extraordinary image as if an infinite universe were a part of the great astronomer’s heliocentric system, although that was not at all the case. The text on the plate describes the stars as residing in an orb, but the fact that it extends “infinitely up” abolished the traditional sphere. Digges received his education from John Dee, a mathematician and alchemist. Dee’s very extensive library included a copy of Lucretius’ work on the infinity of the cosmos, but Digges (unlike Bruno) does not cite the ancient author. Thomas Digges added this image and the translation as an appendix to a new edition of the almanac written by his father (Leonard).

BibrefsDigges1596

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Gilbert, William. De mundo nostro sublunari philosophia nova. Amsterdam: apud L. Elzevirium 1651. Gilbert is best known for his work published in 1600, De magnete (On the Magnet). In the sixth chapter of that book, Gilbert asks, regarding the Ptolemaic spheres, who ever has given rational proof that there are any such adamantine spheres at all? No man hath shown this ever. Regarding the stars, Gilbert asserts that they are not set in any sphaeric framework or firmament (as is supposed), nor in any vaulted structure. Several of the cosmological ideas introduced in that work are expanded upon in this later publication, which includes this beautiful plate of the stars scattered freely in space. Gilbert and other authors who no longer accepted physical spheres continued to draw in the imaginary lines of the planetary orbits. In this illustration, Gilbert does not draw in the line of the orbit of earth, perhaps to indicate that the others are theoretical rather than physical as well. He completed the work by 1603 but it was not printed until long afterward.

BibrefsGilbert1651

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Kircher, Athanasius. Iter extaticum coeleste . Würzburg: sumptibus Joh. And. & Wolffg. Jun. Endterorum haeredibus, prostat Norimbergae apud eosdem, 1660. Kircher was a Jesuit scholar and professor of mathematics at the Collegio Romano. He was praised by a contemporary as “the Phoenix amongst the learned men of this century”. He encouraged and contributed to the exchange of ideas in the sciences through correspondence with a huge number of individuals. This work of astronomy is presented as a narrative of his journey with two angels to the limits of the solar system, with descriptions of the planets and cosmos. The engraved title page shows Kircher with one of his angel guides. The universal system shown is that of Tycho Brahe (the text compares and illustrates a variety of universal systems). The sphere of the fixed stars is expanded to a stellar region.

BibrefsKircher1660

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Guericke, Otto von. Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) magdeburgica de vacuo spatio primum. Amsterdam: apud Joannem Janssonium a Waesberge, 1672. Guericke’s experiments on the properties of air lead him to believe that above the atmosphere of earth, our planet was separated from the moon and other planets by empty space. Empty space also separated Saturn, the outermost planet in the solar system, from the nearest star. From there the stars extended into infinite space, separated from each other by about the same distance as our sun from the closest star. Guericke thereby erased the stellar sphere. This image is important not only because the stars are dispersed but also because it includes, for the first time, real named stars shown in their proper places in the stellar region. In the upper left, Lyre Lucida is identified. This refers to the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, which is the star we know as Vega. In the lower right is Canis major, or Sirius, the Dog Star.

BibrefsGuericke1672

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Mesmes, Jean Pierre de. Les institutions astronomiques. Paris: De l'imprimerie de Michel de Vascosan, 1557. This earth-centered system has a markedly thick sphere of fixed stars, made more unusual by the inclusion of a comet or meteor. Until late in the sixteenth century, those events were normally designated as occurring near the earth, leaving the perfect realm of the stars unscathed. Though this work primarily describes traditional aspects of the geocentric system such as the motion of the stellar sphere and the division between the earthly and the celestial regions, it is noted as one of the earliest French works that also provided a description of the Copernican system. The stars in that model were much further away than in the geocentric system; perhaps that idea was incorporated by expanding the stellar sphere and allowing it a fiery visitor in this image.

BibrefsMesmes1557

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Section 6:

Motive Forces and the Stars

ThĂŠodore Barin. Le monde naissant, ou la crĂŠation du monde, 1686. Table of Contents


Section 6: Motive Forces and the Stars

As the sun-centered system gained acceptance, the role of the stars in moving the planets ended. Without the mechanism of the spheres, other sources of motion had to be found that kept the planets in their orbits. Some returned to Plato, who thought the celestial bodies were besouled and could move themselves. Others called for angels to move the planets, evoking Aristotle’s requirement for eternal planetary movers in the Metaphysics. A more efficient suggestion was God’s commandment to move them by fiat. William Gilbert offered magnetism as the motive force in 1600, which Kepler assigned to the sun, attracting the planets' orbits around it. While the sun-centered system required these new forces, Descartes' source of motion required a new universal model. His theory of vortices described a fluid medium in the universe that carried the planets around our sun, and the planets of other stars around theirs. The stars, far from acting as an eternal and unchanging source of motion, were dispersed, and were acted upon by the fluid medium.

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Zahn, Johann. Specula physico-mathematico-historica notabilium ac mirabilium sciendorum. Nuremberg: sumptibus Joannis Christophori Lochner, 1696. Aristotle compared the ultimate motive force of the universe to love. He wrote that the sphere of the fixed stars is moved by God, who “produces motion as being loved, but all other things move by being moved... motion in a circle is the first kind of spatial motion, and this the first mover produces.” God’s power to act by fiat was invoked by some astronomers as the motive force keeping the planets in their orbits after the sphere of the fixed stars dissolved. Introducing the section on astronomy in this encyclopedic work of natural history is this dramatic image of the biblical Creation. It includes a passage from Genesis, and a quote from Psalms: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth”.

BibrefsZahn

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Gilbert, William. De magnete. Londini :Excudebat Petrus Short, 1600. Gilbert theorized that the earth is a giant magnet, and that in place of the now dissolved sphere of the fixed stars, magnetism held the planets in their orbits. This diagram records one of his experiments with a terrella, a magnet that had been turned and smoothed into a sphere, with three concentric metal orbs around it. It is shown here in cross section, with the terrella being the innermost circle, surrounded by the three metal orbs. On the surface of the terrella and of each orb, Gilbert had placed compass needles. The dashed lines show that the lines of attraction on each orb match the directions of those on the terrella. Gilbert wrote that “The centre of the magnetic virtues in the earth is the centre of the earth; and in a terrella is the centre of the stone.” Gilbert was an animist in the tradition of Plato; he believed that the earth, planets, and stars had souls. His experiments with magnets showed him that this soul acts “without error, and exerts an unending action, quick, definite, and constant”.

BibrefsGilbert1600

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Kepler, Johann. Astronomia nova. [Heidelberg : G. Voegelinus], 1609. Kepler applied Gilbert’s magnetism to the sun as the motive force of the cosmos. Kepler presented an analogy, illustrated in this diagram, to describe how the sun’s magnetism moved the planets around it. He described how ferrymen sometimes suspend a cable high above a river and tether the boat to it with another rope, and that in this way, the ferrymen can make “the skiffs go in circles, and play a thousand tricks, without touching the bottom or the banks, but by the use of the oar alone, directing the…flow of the river to their own ends”. In the diagram, the sun is at one focus within the circle. “Let there be a circular river CDE, FGH, and in it a sailor who revolves his oar…The impulse will be less at C than at F, since our river is weak at C and strong at F” corresponding to the shifting speed of a planet. BibrefsKepler1609

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Descartes, Rene. Principia philosophia. Amsterdam: Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, 1644 The ancient philosopher Empedocles demonstrated an early cosmological vortex theory by dropping tea leaves into a container of water as he stirred it. The theory proposed infinite worlds that formed and perished, cycling back into the infinite. In this masterpiece of physics, Descartes included a chapter on “the visible universe” in which he presented a complex, evolutionary universal system based on vortices. He described how the planets are carried around the sun through an analogy: “If some straws are floating in the eddy of a river, where the water doubles back on itself and forms a vortex as it swirls; we can see that it carries them along and makes them move in circles with it.” He described the plate: “If S, for example, is the Sun, F,f will be fixed stars, and we will understand that numerous others exist.” The line snaking through the vortices is the path of a comet.

BibrefsDescartes1644

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Seller, John. Atlas coelestis. London: Sold by Ier: Seller & Cha: Price at [the] Hermitage & Phil: Lea at [the] Atlas & Hercules in Cheapside, 1700. Aristotle wrote that an infinite stellar region cannot rotate. In the earth-centered system, the sphere of the fixed stars did rotate, so it had to be limited in depth. Its motion in turn set the planets in motion. Copernicus stopped the motion of the sphere of the fixed stars and made the earth move instead. This presented a problem: how are the planets moved? While some philosophers proposed that the planets had souls and could move themselves, Descartes sought a mechanical explanation. This image contrasts the universe of Copernicus with that of Descartes. The Copernican system focused on our solar system (this depiction shows the stars dispersed), whereas the Cartesian cosmos equated our sun with the other stars and emphasized the vast cosmos. Descartes in effect removed our sun from a local context and placed it among the stars, and with them, it was acted upon by the fluid medium.

BibrefsSeller1700 97


Section 6: Motive Forces and the Stars

Newton, Isaac. The mathematical principles of natural philosophy. London: Printed for Benjamin Motte, 1729. Volume 1. While the Cartesian system would live on in the popular imagination for decades, Newton’s Principia (in the view of many scientists) effectively replaced all previous proposals of motive force with gravity. Mutual attraction, combined with inertia, produced a closed planetary orbit around the sun; a vortex, Newton explained, was neither necessary nor desirable. Newton also politely clarified why magnetism was not a sufficient cause. This frontispiece features a novel view of a novel idea: the sun acting by gravitational attraction on the planets.

BibrefsNewton1729

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Newton, Isaac. The mathematical principles of natural philosophy. London: Printed for Benjamin Motte, 1729. Volume 2. In Book II, Newton describes extensive experiments that he carried out with pendulums in his investigations into the nature of gravity. In Book III, he stated that gravity affects the bodies of the planets in the solar system in the same way that it pulls bodies toward the earth. Proposition VI continues: “If the circumsolar Planets were supposed to be let fall [as a pendulum] at equal distances from the Sun, they would, in their descent towards the Sun, describe equal spaces in equal times.�

BibrefsNewton1729

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Pemberton , Henry. A view of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy. Printed by S. Palmer, 1728. This recounting of Newton’s laws of motion is also illustrated with Newton’s pendulum experiments. Gravity would seem to be the ultimate motive force, but Newton did not accept that it was inherent in matter. The idea that an inherent soul moved matter, as in Gilbert’s work, had been replaced with the idea that matter was passive, and God gave matter motion. Kepler suggested that the planets were endowed with intelligence, or Mind, in his early work, but a quote from his Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae is telling of the change: “I deny that the celestial movements are the work of Mind”. Kepler believed, as would Descartes, that God set matter in motion and also continually keeps it in motion. Newton wrote in his Principia that God is substantially present: “In him all things are contained and moved, but he does not act on them nor they on him”; God was simply always and everywhere.

BibrefsPemberton1728

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Section 7:

Plurality of Worlds

Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle. Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes, 1686 [detail].

Table of Contents


Section 7: Plurality of Worlds

Once the stars were scattered, they were celebrated as suns with their own satellites. Descartes' mechanism of vortices was only a part of his theory of motion published in 1644. It also included the concept of multiple solar systems derived from the ancient atomists. His influential philosophy, combined with his humble images of stars with satellites moving in a fluid medium, inspired many interpretations. The arresting images of the Cartesian cosmos are fascinating testaments to a radical shift in the perception of the universe. They dramatically placed our sun among the other stars; it joined them in the heavens. In common with our sun, the other stars were given their own planets. The idea that other planets have similarities to earth encouraged a discussion of extraterrestrial life. Christiaan Huygens wrote in 1698 that "it's not improbable that the rest of the planets have their Dress and Furniture, nay and their Inhabitants too as well as this Earth of ours."

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Huygens, Christiaan. The celestial worlds discover'd. London: Printed for Timothy Childe, 1698. Huygens proposed that “there are a multitude of Earths inhabited and adorned as well as our own.” He described our solar system, suggesting that it demonstrated that the other planets had similarities to earth: they are round (and therefore also rotate), they receive light from the sun, and two of them (Jupiter and Saturn) have moons just as earth has a moon. He then concluded: “Now since in so many things they thus agree, what can be more probable than that in others they agree too; and that the other planets are as beautiful and as well stock’d with Inhabitants as the Earth?”

BibrefsHuygens1698

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Huygens, Christaan. Cosmotheoros, eller Werlds Beskådare. Upsala : Tryckt på egen bekostnad af Johan Edman, Kongl. Acad. Boltryctare, 1774. In thinking about life on other planets, Huygens even tried to imagine how the sky would appear to the inhabitants. The image of Saturn, for example, illustrates Huygens’ discussion of the appearance of that planet’s ring to its residents: “Those that live about the poles within the arches CAD, EBF, (if the cold will suffer anybody to live there) will never have sight of the ring. Those that dwell between the Polar Circle CD and the Equator TV” would see the ring, but as the planet turned, the ring would hide the sun, causing sudden darkness to fall. At that time, “their Moons are their only Comfort.”

BibrefsHuygens1774

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Huygens, Christaan. Opera varia. Lugduni Batavorum : Apud Janssonios Vander Aa, 1724. Vol. 1. (portrait) Huygens was a brilliant mathematician and physicist. His investigations in optical techniques and astronomy led to his discovery of Titan, the first of Saturn’s moons to be sighted. He also determined that Saturn was surrounded by a ring (the nature of its irregular appearance had been a mystery). As a result of his extensive astronomical observations, Huygens was able to contribute more realistic ideas regarding the conditions for life on Saturn and on the other planets than other authors on the topic.

BibrefsHuygens1724

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Scheiner, Christoph. Rosa Ursina siue Sol. Bracciani: Apud Andream Phaeum Typographum Ducalem, 1630. This illustration depicts various astronomical instruments used by Scheiner, including an early heliometer used to make observations of the sun (in bottom panel). Prior to Galileo, many scientists believed that the sun, moon, planets and stars were perfect heavenly bodies, comprised of refined materials entirely different in nature from those of the earth. In addition to his studies of the moon, Galileo also observed sunspots, phenomena that Scheiner studied in great detail. The observations of both men proved that the sun was imperfect, suggesting that it may be made of some of the same basic elements that constitute the earth. Since the sun is a star, this made the stars valid subjects of physical investigation. For most scientists this tended to erase the old division between the celestial bodies and the earth. (Scheiner however favored a theory that the sunspots were perfect planets orbiting the sun. This theory preserved the earlier doctrine of a perfect sun).

BibrefsScheiner1630

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Wilkins, John. A discourse concerning a new world & another planet. London: Printed by Iohn Norton for Iohn Maynard, 1640. Published only a few years after Galileo’s Dialogue of the Two World Systems, Wilkin’s work subtly acknowledges that the heliocentric system was not yet accepted by everyone. He was tentative in his statement that several scientists actually believed that the earth was one of the planets: “Now if our earth were one of the Planets (as it is according to them) then why may not another of the Planets be an earth?” Wilkins chose a celestial body closer to home to prove that life may exist beyond earth. He focused on the moon. He asserted its similarities to earth: the moon is solid, shines by reflected light, has dark and light spots indicating sea and land, and has mountains and valleys. Wilkins suggested that the moon was inhabited, and that it would be worthwhile to launch a spacecraft there to meet its residents.

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Descartes, Rene. Principia philosophia. Amstelodami: Apud Ludovicum & Danielem Elzevirios, 1656. This image from Descartes’ master work shows the sun in the center, but the novel aspect of his system (first published in 1644) was that our sun was in fact not the center of anything except our own planetary system. The laws of motion of Descartes and of Newton were not limited to our solar system as were previous ideas of motive forces. Instead, they were universal laws, extending to all matter in the universe. Descartes referred in this work to the ancient atomist Lucretius, who once wrote: “Granted that empty space extends without limit in every direction and seeds [atoms] innumerable are rushing on countless courses through an unfathomable universe under the impulse of perpetual motion, it is in the highest degree unlikely that this earth and sky is the only one to have been created…In other regions there are other earths and various tribes of men and breeds of beasts.”

BibrefsDescartes1656

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Mallement, Claude. L'ouvrage de la creation. Paris : Chez la veuve Claude Thiboust et Pierre Esclassan, 1679. Mallement was a professor of philosophy at the Collège du Plessis, where his students no doubt studied his version of the Cartesian system of vortices as presented in this charming illustration. It shows the sun circling around the central whirl rather than occupying the center of it. Only Mercury orbits the sun itself, while the center of the orbits of the other planets is the central whirl. Mallement had an interesting theory regarding comets in the Cartesian cosmos. He suggested that as they cycled through the vortices and into our solar system, comets could bring waste material from the edges of the vortex to the earth, introducing ill winds that may affect health. Although incorrect, Mallement’s physical explanation did suggest that comets were causes with effects rather than omens.

BibrefsMallement1679

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Fontenelle, M. de Bernard Le Bovier. Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes. Paris ; Lyon: Chez T. Amaulry, 1686. Inspired by Descartes’ simple delineation of vortices, this imaginative image introducing Fontenelle’s text takes the diagram to a rich new level. The illustration shows great depth. The sun appears as the most distant point, and the planets are shown in perspective, with Mercury very far from the viewer, near the sun, while Jupiter and Saturn with their moons are nearer to the viewer. In the foreground, a profusion of stars are shown with their satellites. It is an extraordinarily detailed view of multiple solar systems. The text is a witty treatment of Descartes’ cosmology, but also includes a surprisingly thorough discussion of life on other planets.

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Fontenelle, M. de Bernard Le Bovier. Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes. Amsterdam: Chez Pierre Mortier.. 1701. Fontenelle’s work was written in the form of an imaginary conversation between an astronomer and a young marquise. The noblewoman posed questions of her tutor about the universe, and his answers provided an introduction to astronomy that emphasized the Cartesian cosmos. While Descartes had presented the stars as suns in an unlimited plenum, Fontenelle went further: he gave the stars satellites with inhabitants. Fontenelle’s work became very popular, going through many editions. For this reason, Fontenelle’s conception of Descartes’ system became widely known. The frontispiece of this edition shows the astronomer and marquise in the garden, with the solar system and stars above.

BibrefsFontenelle1701

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Bonnycastle, John. An introduction to astronomy. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1787. This plate shows our solar system amidst six others. Other systems are cut off by the symbol of the snake eating its tail, indicating that the view is a partial one, and perhaps that it extends beyond the frame infinitely into space. In the text, Bonnycastle credits the Englishman Francis Bacon (rather than the Florentine, Galileo) as finally disproving the ancient systems that denied a plurality of worlds. Until Bacon, he wrote, “Plato and Aristotle were referred to as the arbiters of every dispute, from whose authority there was no appeal”. The illustration of multiple worlds clearly contradicts a passage from Plato’s Timaeus: “…the Creator compounded the world out of all the fire and all the water and all the air and all the earth, leaving no part of any of them…outside; leaving no remnants out of which another such world might be created.”

BibrefsBonnycastle1787

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Maupertuis, Pierre. Discours sur les differentes figures des astres. Paris: Chez G. Martin, Jean-Baptiste Coignard, & les Freres Guerin, 1742. Within the context of a plurality of worlds, Maupertuis discussed the gravitational affects of satellites on their stars. He suggested that the opaque bodies of planets orbiting around their stars could alter the appearance of stars. He also proposed that the rapid rotation of stars affects their shapes so that stars vary in form, as shown in the mezzotint. Maupertuis suggested that some stars had been flattened in the course of their rotation and as they turn we view them alternately as face-on and edge-on, and that this is the cause of the appearance of variable stars. Maupertuis is perhaps best known for his principle of least action. It determines the shape of an ellipse under the influence of gravity. He once wrote a mathematical treatise on the maxima and the minima. He must have had a penchant for extremes, as he also published works about the universe and the embryo.

BibrefsMaupertuis1742

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Euler, Leonhard. Theoria motuum planetarum et cometarum. Berlin: Sumtibus Ambrosii Haude, 1744. This beautiful image of the plurality of worlds appears to be a version of the upper section of the Dopplemayr plate (also in this section), complete with angels unfurling the fabric of the universe. Euler’s prodigious researches in theoretical mechanics influenced his interpretation of Cartesian cosmology. Euler defined Descartes’ fluid plenum as a specific type of ether, and described its mechanical properties; he proposed that magnetism influenced its motion.

BibrefsEuler1744

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Doppelmayr, Johann. Atlas coelestis. Nuremberg: sumpt. Heredum Homannianorum, 1742. The heavens are opened up to reveal the infinite universe of worlds in this glorious image. Multiple solar systems, symbolizing a portion of the universe extending beyond the frame, surround our own. Portraits of astronomers whose scientific investigations eventually led society to an understanding of this marvelous state of affairs are shown in the foreground. Ptolemy, representing knowledge of the ancient world, is at left. Next to him is Copernicus, who points to his sun-centered system, infinitely mirrored. At right are Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. While some ancient authors, including Lucretius, asserted multiple worlds, others, such as Plato and Aristotle, rejected them. Aristotle wrote: “A plurality of universes is in fact impossible if this world contains the entirety of matter, as in fact it does.� Beyond honoring Ptolemy, this illustration is a dramatic affirmation that in the Enlightenment period, the ancient world no longer ruled.

BibrefsDoppelmayer1742

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Barin, ThÊodore. Le monde naissant. Utrecht: Pour la Compagnie des Libraires, 1686. In presenting his cosmology, Descartes made explicit references to the biblical creation narrative in his Principles of Philosophy. He described the waters above the firmament as the vortices of other stars, and the waters below the firmament as the sun’s fluid planetary heavens. This was a welcome passage to those readers who wished to ground themselves within a familiar framework while interpreting the novel universal theory of Descartes. Barin was thus able to present this image of the stars and planets cycling in their vortices as a representation of the fourth day of creation in Genesis.

BibrefsBarin1686

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Section 8:

Measuring the Distance to the Stars

Alexander Keith Johnston. Atlas of astronomy, 1855 (detail).

Table of Contents


Section 8: Measuring the Distance to the Stars

The mathematical principles of the Copernican model resulted in pushing the sphere of the stars many thousands of times further away from the sun than it had been in the earth-centered cosmos. When the sun-centered system gained acceptance in the seventeenth century, astronomers seized the telescope to directly test the numbers. The quest for stellar parallax - a method for measuring distance to the stars-- began in earnest with Robert Hooke in 1669. He set his sites on Gamma Draconis, the bright star in the head of the constellation Draco, the Dragon, but his result was uncertain. In 1838, Friedrich Bessel solved the problem of measuring stellar distance by focusing on Cygnus 61, a small star in the constellation Cygnus, the celestial Swan. Using a precision instrument called a heliometer, he calculated it to be over 60 trillion miles away.

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Flamsteed, John. Atlas céleste. Paris, Chez F.G. Deschamps [et chez] l'auteur, 1776. “Whether the Earth move or stand still hath been a Problem, that since Copernicus revived it, hath much exercised the Wits of our best modern Astronomers” wrote Robert Hooke in 1669, declaring his intention to use stellar parallax to prove that the earth does move. He selected Gamma Draconis, the star that appeared near the zenith of Gresham College, where he resided. He cut a hole in the roof of his apartment, another through the ceiling of the second floor, and made his observations lying on a sofa from the first. He published his result as 15” of arc, but his claim was not widely accepted. James Bradley and John Flamsteed (whose accurate star observations inspired this atlas) also attempted the parallax of the Dragon Star, but like Hooke, they were foiled by the aberration of light. Bradley discovered that phenomenon during his observations of the star (on the head of the Dragon constellation near Hercules).

BibrefsFlamsteed1776

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Section 8: Measuring the Distance to the Stars

Horrebow, Peder. Basis astronomiae; sive, Astronomiae pars mechanica. Havniae : Apud viduam beati Hieron. Christiani Paulli, 1735. Horrebow was a devoted student of Olaus Roemer (1644-1710). This work by Horrebow includes an important paper that he had found among his teacher’s manuscripts, entitled The Moveable Earth, or the Parallax of the Annual Orbit from Observations of Sirius and Lyra, Carried out at Copenhagen in the Years 1692 and 1693. Roemer’s goal in his search for stellar parallax, as noted in the title, was to prove that the earth “moved” (orbited the sun). This fascinating engraving illustrates the transit instrument that Roemer invented and used in his home observatory in Copenhagen. The instrument is the horizontal pipe on which the attached telescope moved freely along the meridian (vertically). Two cones, joined at their bases and hiding the tube of the telescope, reduced any slight warping. A small lantern is mounted to illuminate the mirror. At the right end of the pipe, a microscope is attached. Parallel threads divided the focus of both the telescope and the microscope, and the clocks timed the positions of the stars. Roemer worried that his clocks were responding to temperature changes (later confirmed), and for that reason he did not publish his manuscript. BibrefsHorrebow1735

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Jamieson, Alexander. A celestial atlas. London : Published by G. & W.B. Whittaker..., T. Cadell..., and N. Hailes..., 1822. In 1837 Friedrich Struve published a parallax of Vega, in the upper right of the constellation Lyra on this plate, but he presented his results as uncertain. Finally, in 1838 Friedrich Bessel successfully detected the parallax of a star. Cygnus 61, the object of Bessel’s work, is too small for a designation in this atlas, appearing on the right wing of the swan in the constellation Cygnus. Bessel had meticulously recorded sixteen observations of the star every night for a year, followed by a complicated program of mathematical analysis to cancel out motions not relevant to his task. The parallax he measured was 0.3”, an incredibly small angle to measure. From this he calculated the star to be 60 trillion miles from earth. Ptolemy had estimated the sphere of the fixed stars to be about 60 million miles from earth. Bessel, clearly “thinking outside the sphere,” expanded Ptolemy’s universe by a million times.

BibrefsJamieson1822

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Arago, Francois. Popular astronomy. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855. v. 1 . It takes a full year to accumulate the measurements required to determine the parallax of a star. The position of the star is recorded regularly as the earth makes a complete orbit around the sun. The distance of the stars from earth is so great that the earth’s orbit does not provide a baseline large enough to easily perceive a change in the position of any star. Detecting stellar parallax was a major challenge for astronomers until one instrument finally caught up to the task: a Fraunhofer heliometer, shown in this illustration. Heliometers have a divided lens that allows the viewer to see two magnified images at once. When Joseph von Fraunhofer applied an achromatic lens (refracting light without color distortion) to a heliometer of his design, the world finally had an instrument that provided the precision required to detect parallax in the hands of the talented astronomer Friedrich Bessel.

BibrefsArago1855

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Section 8: Measuring the Distance to the Stars

Meissner, August Gottlieb. Astronomischer Hand-Atlas zu Rüdigers Kenntniss des Himmels. Leipzig : bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, 1805. The brightest star in the Centaur constellation, Alpha Centauri (in the left hoof) was the object of an effort to detect parallax by Thomas Henderson. He was successful and his work preceded that of Bessel, but he initially was not confident of his results and did not publish them until 1839. Henderson and Friedrich Struve (whose observations also proved to be accurate) were praised for their work at the ceremony honoring Friedrich Bessel’s achievement. John Herschel, the son of William Herschel, presided over the ceremony, bestowing upon Bessel the Royal Society’s Gold Medal. John Herschel commended all three men as “among the fairest flowers of civilization” for passing a “great and hitherto impassable barrier to our excursions into the sidereal *starry+ universe.” He declared that their work resulted in “the greatest and most glorious triumph which practical astronomy has ever witnessed”.

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Section 9:

From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Thomas Wright. An original theory or new hypothesis of the universe, 1750.

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Works depicting the “plurality of worlds� described multiple solar systems, including ours, scattered indefinitely in space. Solar systems were not thought of as being organized into a star system, or galaxy, until the eighteenth century. Thomas Wright realized that the intense collection of stars along the Milky Way was an indication that our sun and the other stars are part of a star system with a particular structure. In 1750 he described the sun as orbiting a central point, and suggested that it did so along with the other stars. He suggested two shapes that the star system could take that would account for the appearance of the stars in the Milky Way: a ring of stars that he compared to the plane of the planets or a hollow sphere. Immanuel Kant recognized that Newton's physical laws corresponded to Wright's ring (not to his sphere), and in 1755 Kant developed an evolutionary cosmology that compared the formation of the solar system to that of the galaxies by the same natural laws.

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory…of the Universe…solving…the general phaenomena of the visible creation and particularly the Via Lactea. London: Printed for the author, 1750. The illustration shows a perspective view of a section of the Milky Way. Wright suggested that if a viewer is near the center at A, the stars would appear diffuse toward either B or C, and crowded if looking toward F, G, or D. To Wright, the Milky Way was a vital clue that our sun and the other stars are arranged in a stellar system.

BibrefsWright1750

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory‌ 1750. Novel diagram of sun orbiting a central point: Wright sought a cause to explain why the stars would be arranged in a particular pattern. The cause of the arrangement of our planetary system is that the planets orbit a central point (the sun). Wright proposed that the sun and the other stars also orbit a central point.

BibrefsWrightStarsOrbit

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory‌ 1750. Ring-shaped galaxy: Wright reasoned that the star system may therefore take the same shape as our solar system, or the ring of Saturn. He provided double or multiple ring options. He proposed that the center of the star system was terrestrial in nature; some of his illustrations show it with land and sea (today we know that the centers of galaxies are not solid bodies but black holes).

BibrefsWrightRing

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory‌ 1750. Spherical galaxy: The second shape that Wright suggested for the galaxy was a hollow sphere. The view from within the shell of stars would approximate the perspective view of the Milky Way, as would the view from within the ring shape.

BibrefsWrightSphere

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory‌ 1750. Cross section of spherical galaxy: Had Wright used his suggested central terrestrial body in this image it would have appeared very much like the Aristotelian universal system. Instead he shows his proposed philosophical center (where today we would place a black hole). In the ancient system, the earth was at the center. In Wright’s galaxy, our solar system is located (though not visible here) within the outer sphere of stars.

BibrefsWrightCross

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Bode, Johann Elert. .Allgemeine Betrachtungen über das Weltgebäude. Berlin: [s.n.], 1812. Bode, best known for his spectacular star atlas published a decade earlier, illustrates the position of the Milky Way in both hemispheres, and the location of stars along its length. The plate is used here to demonstrate that the Milky Way appears to us as a white brushstroke in the sky as shown. Before the work of Thomas Wright, it was perceived as completely separate from our solar system but in fact our sun is a part of the Milky Way. It only appears to be separate because the perspective view offered by our sun’s location within the galaxy makes it appear to be a distant unrelated ribbon.

BibrefsBode1812

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Hevelius, Johannes. Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia. Gedani: typis J.-Z. Stollii, 1690. Edmond Halley sailed to St. Helena, an isolated tropical island in the middle of the Atlantic, to record the positions of over 300 stars in the southern hemisphere. The resulting catalog published in 1679 gained more attention after Hevelius included Halley’s stars in this beautiful atlas. In 1718, Halley published an article in the Philosophical Transactions noting that three of the stars (including Arcturus in Bootes) had changed position since Ptolemy recorded them in ancient times. Halley proposed that stars are not fixed in their positions, but have their own proper motion. Thomas Wright quoted nearly the entire brief article in his Original Theory in order to prepare his readers for his proposal that our sun orbits a central point. “If they move,” he wrote, “the Sun must also.”

BibrefsHevelius1690

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Kant, Immanuel. Allgemeine geschichte und theorie des himmels. Zeitz : Bei Wilhelm Webel, 1798. Kant’s Universal natural history and theory of the heavens, first published in 1755, was an influential work of cosmology. It presented a comprehensive and detailed theory describing how the celestial bodies were formed, the physical laws that govern them, and how they may be transformed in the future. Kant credited Thomas Wright for providing some ideas for his cosmology, but the role of gravity was not one of them. Wright seemed unaware of the limitations that gravity would place on the shapes of galaxies, believing for example that stars in his spherical galaxy could orbit around the center in different directions. Kant recognized that Wright’s ring-shaped galaxy, and not his sphere, followed the universal laws of gravitation. He agreed with Wright that the galaxy may take the same form as the solar system, but he understood why: it was formed according to the same laws. BibrefsKant1798

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Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems

Flammarion, Camille. L'atmosphère météorologie populaire. Paris : Librairie Hachette et cie., 1888. An artist depicts a medieval missionary who has found the point where the sky and the earth meet. With his head poking through the stars, he perfectly embodies our exhibit theme, “thinking outside the sphere”. The charming and irresistibly captivating wood engraving (in this work on earth’s atmospheric layers) is by an anonymous artist. It shows the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement and is inspired by fifteenth century illustrations of the biblical narrative of Ezekiel’s vision. The image is a striking metaphor for those aspects of astronomy that always lie just beyond our grasp. The pilgrim pushes the envelope of the unknown. The stellar sphere first bounded the geocentric universe, then the heliocentric one. As our view of the stars expanded, the sphere of the stars was proposed as a shape for our star system. What lies beyond?

BibrefsFlammarion1888

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Section 10:

The First Map of the Galaxy

Alexander Keith Johnston. Atlas of astronomy, 1855 (detail).

Table of Contents


Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

If the stars were part of a star system, how could it be measured and its boundaries defined? William Herschel used a handmade, twenty-foot telescope to chip away at what he called the "construction of the heavens." He swept the skies to record the arrangement of the visible stars, and in 1785 published our first map of the galaxy. It placed the sun quite centrally within it, in what seemed a philosophical return to the earth-centered system that featured "us." Another of Herschel's great contributions was to establish that our solar system is moving through space. Wright and Kant had assumed its motion, but Herschel proved it through rigorous analysis of telescopic observations. He determined that the sun was moving toward the constellation Hercules. Along with our sun, we were on our way somewhere, moving vast distances through galactic space.

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Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Bode, Johann Elert. Vorstellung der Gestirne auf XXXIV Kupfertafeln nach der Pariser Ausgabe des Flamsteadschen Himmelsatlas. Berlin und Stralsand: Bey Gottlieb August Lange, 1782 . The bright star Arcturus is found in the knee of the constellation Bootes in this atlas. It was one of three stars (with Aldebaran and Sirius) that had been discovered by Edmond Halley in 1718 to have changed positions in the sky. In 1775, Tobias Mayer confirmed its motion and added two dozen more stars that exhibited proper motion. Mayer wrote that “it is not enough to know that certain stars are endowed with their own proper motion, but we must also ascertain precisely which are the stars, in what region of the sky they move, and with what speed� if astronomers are to make accurate catalogs.

BibrefsBode1782

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Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Herschel, William. “On the Proper Motion of the Sun and Solar System” Philosophical Transactions 73:247-283 (January 1, 1783). Herschel found that the determination of proper motion posed a tantalizing question about our sun: if it moves, where is it going? In explaining his approach, he begins by stating that the theory of attraction dictates that if several stars move, they all must move, including our sun. He then presented the problem of how to discriminate the sun’s motion from all of the other proper motions that the stars display. Herschel impressively succeeded in the analytical feat of cancelling out the individual stars’ proper motions in order to isolate the sun’s motion. He determined that the sun was indeed moving through space, and that it was moving toward the constellation Hercules, as shown in the diagram.

BibrefsHerschel1783

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Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Herschel, William. “On the construction of the heavens” Philosophical Transactions 75:213-266. (January 1, 1785). When Charles Messier published a catalog of nebula that he had observed using a small instrument, Herschel knew he could discover more with his 20 foot handmade telescope. In 1783 with the assistance of his sister Carolyn, he began making what he called “sweeps” of specific areas of the sky each night, finding many more of these objects. Soon Herschel realized that he could build a composite view of all of the stars, thus arriving at a general idea of the shape of the universe. He outlined his technique for this new goal. “I call it Gaging the Heavens, or the Star-Gage.” In January of 1785, Herschel published the results of his survey: our first map of the galaxy, with our sun near the center. It appeared to Herschel that our galaxy branched in two for a portion of its length. Although Herschel soon determined his map to be flawed, it was the best we had until the twentieth century.

BibrefsHerschel1785 173


Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Johnston, Alexander Keith. Atlas of astronomy. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1855. Johnston’s atlas shows Herschel’s map of the galaxy in the top right, and a binary star system at left. Herschel had assumed that the stars were generally of equal brightness. This would indicate that stars that appeared faint were further away while the bright stars were closer to us. He used double stars to help gauge distance, comparing a faint one next to a bright one. His own studies of double stars later proved that many orbited around each other, disproving the “faint equals far” rule and calling into question the accuracy of his galaxy map.

BibrefsJohnston1855

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Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Mitchel, Ormsby M. The planetary and stellar worlds. London: T. Nelson and Sons...,1861 . This image illustrates Herschel’s map, surrounded by two star clusters and two sets of double stars. Herschel became interested in seeking to delineate the shape of the galaxy while searching for star clusters and nebulae. Herschel assumed that his telescope could reach to the edge of the universe, so he considered that his resulting map traced the entire cosmos. By 1818, as improvements to his telescopes simply continued to bring more and more distant stars into view, Herschel became convinced that his map represented only a limited view of the universe, which he decided was “fathomless�.

BibrefsMitchel1861

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Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy

Smyth, William Henry. A cycle of celestial objects. London: J. W. Parker, 1844. Not having any proof to the contrary, Herschel assumed that our sun was quite central in the galaxy. Philosophically, this was a return to the Copernican cosmos, in which the stars were distributed around the sun in equal measure, making our solar system the focus of the universe. Herschel restored our sun’s special place, plucking it out of the infinite plurality of worlds that had no center. As a coda beyond the span of this exhibit, it is interesting to note that in 1918 it was discovered that our sun was not near the center of the galaxy but further out in its spiral. Our sun lost its unique status, but we learned in 1925 that as it heads toward Hercules as Herschel had discovered, it also joins the other stars in a fascinating journey all the way around the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, much as Thomas Wright and Immanuel Kant had imagined.

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Thomas Wright. An original theory or new hypothesis of the universe, 1750.


Coda:

Multiple Galaxies Confirmed In 1918, observations proved that the sun was not centrally located in the galaxy, but further toward the system's rim. Our sun lost its special place, but in 1925 we gained a new understanding of its motion. It was discovered that together with the other stars, our sun moves in a general motion around the center of the galaxy, much as Wright, and especially Kant, had imagined. In that same year, another suggestion of those eighteenth-century authors was proven: multiple galaxies exist beyond our own.

BibrefsCoda

Table of Contents

181


Bibliography of Works Exhibited Apian, Peter. Cosmographia. Antwerp: Bontio, 1550. Arago, Francois. Popular astronomy. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855. v. 1. Aristotle (384-322 BCE). Aristotelis Stagiritae De coelo… Cum Averrois ... variis in eosdem commentariis. Venice: Iuntas, 1550. Aristotle (384-322 BCE). Opera. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1495. Barin, Théodore. Le monde naissant. Utrecht: Pour la Compagnie des Libraires, 1686. Beati, Gabriele. Sphaera triplex … Rome: Typis Varesij, 1662. Blaue, Johannes. Atlas maior, siue, Cosmographia Blauiana. v.1. Amsterdam: Labore & sumptibus Ioannis Blaeu, 1662. Bode, Johann Elert. Allgemeine Betrachtungen über das Weltgebäude. Berlin: [s.n.], 1812. Bode, Johann Elert. Vorstellung der Gestirne auf XXXIV Kupfertafeln nach der Pariser Ausgabe des Flamsteadschen Himmelsatlas. Berlin und Stralsand: Bey Gottlieb August Lange, 1782 . Bonnycastle, John. An introduction to astronomy. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1787. 182


Brahe, Tycho. Learned: Tico BrahÌ, his astronomicall coniectur of the new and much admired [star]. London: by B[ernard] A[lsop] and T[homas F[awcet] for Michaell [Sparks] and Samuell Nealand, 1632. Bruno, Giordano. De triplici minimo et mensura‌ Frankfurt: Apud Ioannem Wechelum & Petrum Fischerum , 1591. Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica, sev Atlas universalis et nouus. Amsterdam: apud Joannem Janssonium, 1661 Clavius, Christoph. In sphaeram Ioannis de Sacro Bosco commentaries. Rome: Helianum, 1570. Clavius, Christoph. Operum mathematicorum . Mainz: sumptibus Antonii Hierat; Excudebat Reinhardus Eltz, 1611. Descartes, Rene. Principia philosophia. Amsterdam: Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, 1644 Descartes, Rene. Principia philosophia. Amstelodami: Apud Ludovicum & Danielem Elzevirios, 1656. Digges, Leonard. A prognostication everlastinge of right good effect, with additions by his sonne Thomas. London: by the widow Orwin, 1596. Doppelmayr, Johann. Atlas coelestis. Nuremberg: sumpt. Heredum Homannianorum, 1742. Euler, Leonhard. Theoria motuum planetarum et cometarum. Berlin: Sumtibus Ambrosii Haude, 1744. 183


Fine, Oronce. De mundi sphaera. Paris: Colinaei, 1542. Flammarion, Camille. L'atmosphère météorologie populaire. Paris : Librairie Hachette et cie., 1888. Flamsteed, John. Atlas céleste. Paris, Chez F.G. Deschamps [et chez] l'auteur, 1776. Fludd, Robert. Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atque technica historia. Oppenheim: Aere Johan-Theodori de Bry ; typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1617. Fontenelle, M. de Bernard Le Bovier. Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes. Paris ; Lyon: Chez T. Amaulry, 1686. Fontenelle, M. de Bernard Le Bovier. Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes. Amsterdam: Chez Pierre Mortier.. 1701. Gallucci, Giovanni Paolo. Theatrum mundi, et temporis. Venice: Apud Ioannem Baptistam Somascum, 1588. Gassendi, Pierre. Institutio astronomica. London: Typis Jacobi Flesher; Prostant apud Gulielmum Morden, 1653. Gilbert, William. De magnete. Londini :Excudebat Petrus Short, 1600. Gilbert, William. De mundo nostro sublunari philosophia nova. Amsterdam: apud L. Elzevirium 1651. Guericke, Otto von. 184


Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) magdeburgica de vacuo spatio primum. Amsterdam: apud Joannem Janssonium a Waesberge, 1672. Herschel, William. “On the Proper Motion of the Sun and Solar System” Philosophical Transactions 73:247-283 (January 1, 1783). Herschel, William. “On the Construction of the Heavens”Philosophical Transactions 75:213-266. (January 1, 1785). Hevelius, Johannes. Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia. Gedani: typis J.-Z. Stollii, 1690. Horrebow, Peder. Basis astronomiae; sive, Astronomiae pars mechanica. Havniae : Apud viduam beati Hieron. Christiani Paulli, 1735. Huygens, Christiaan. The Celestial Worlds Discover'd. London: Printed for Timothy Childe, 1698. Huygens, Christaan. Cosmotheoros, eller Werlds Beskådare. Upsala : Tryckt på egen bekostnad af Johan Edman, Kongl. Acad. Boltryctare, 1774. Huygens, Christaan. Opera varia. Lugduni Batavorum : Apud Janssonios Vander Aa, 1724. Vol. 1. (portrait) Hyginus De mundi et sphere. Venice: Sessa, 1512. Jamieson, Alexander. A celestial atlas. London : Published by G. & W.B. Whittaker..., T. Cadell..., and N. Hailes..., 1822. Johnston, Alexander Keith. Atlas of astronomy. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 185


1855. Kant, Immanuel. Allgemeine geschichte und theorie des himmels. Zeitz : Bei Wilhelm Webel, 1798. Kepler, Johann. Astronomia nova. [Heidelberg : G. Voegelinus], 1609. Kepler, Johannes. De cometis libelli tres. Augsburg: Typis Andreae Apergeri, 1619. Kepler, Johannes. De stella nova in pede Serpentarii. Prague: Typis Pauli Sessii; impensis authoris 1606. Kircher, Athanasius. Iter extaticum coeleste . W端rzburg: sumptibus Joh. And. & Wolffg. Jun. Endterorum haeredibus, prostat Norimbergae apud eosdem, 1660. Lipstorp, Daniel. Specimina philosophiae Cartesianae. Quibus accredit ijusdem authoris Copernicus redivivus. Leiden: apud Johannem & Danielem Elsevier. 1653. Mallement, Claude. L'ouvrage de la creation. Paris : Chez la veuve Claude Thiboust et Pierre Esclassan, 1679. Maupertuis, Pierre. Discours sur les differentes figures des astres. Paris: Chez G. Martin, JeanBaptiste Coignard, & les Freres Guerin, 1742. Meissner, August Gottlieb. Astronomischer Hand-Atlas zu R端digers Kenntniss des Himmels. Leipzig : bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, 1805. Mesmes, Jean Pierre de. 186


Les institutions astronomiques. Paris: De l'imprimerie de Michel de Vascosan, 1557. Mitchel, Ormsby M. The planetary and stellar worlds. London: T. Nelson and Sons...,1861 . Newton, Isaac. The mathematical principles of natural philosophy. London: Printed for Benjamin Motte, 1729 (both vols.). Pemberton , Henry. A view of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy. Printed by S. Palmer, 1728. Peurbach, Georg von. Theoricae novae planetarum. Basel: Henric petrina, 1573. Plato (427-347 BCE). Timaeus. Paris: Badius Ascencius, 1520. Ptolemy (100-170 CE). Almagestum. Venice: Petrus Liechtenstein, 1515. Regiomontanus (1436-1476). Epytoma in Almagestu Ptolemei. Venice: Landoia, 1496. Sacrobosco, Johannes. De sphaera. Venice: Ratdolt, 1482. Sacrobosco, Johannes. Sphaera mundi. Venice: Scoti, 1490. Scheiner, Christoph. Disquisitiones mathematicae de controversiis et novitatibus astronomicis. Ingolstadt: Ex typographeo Ederiano apud Elisabetham Angermariam, 1614. Scheiner, Christoph. 187


Rosa Ursina siue Sol. Bracciani: Apud Andream Phaeum Typographum Ducalem, 1630. Scheuchzer, Johann. Phisica sacra. Augsburg: [s.n.], 1734. Schreckenfuchs, Erasmus Oswald. Commentaria, in Nouas theoricas planetarum Georgii Purbachii. Basel: Petri, 1556. Seller, John. Atlas coelestis. London: Sold by Ier: Seller & Cha: Price at [the] Hermitage & Phil: Lea at [the] Atlas & Hercules in Cheapside, 1700. Smyth, William Henry. A cycle of celestial objects. London: J. W. Parker, 1844. Wilkins, John. A discourse concerning a new world & another planet. London: Printed by Iohn Norton for Iohn Maynard, 1640. Wing, Vincent. Harmonicon coeleste : or, The coelestiall harmony of the visible world. London: Printed by Robert Leybourn, for the Company of Stationers, 1651. Wright, Thomas. Clavis coelestis. London: Printed for the Author; and sold by E. Cave [et al], 1742. Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory…of the Universe…solving…the general phaenomena of the visible creation and particularly the Via Lactea. London: Printed for the author, 1750. Zahn, Johann. Specula physico-mathematico-historica notabilium ac mirabilium sciendorum. Nuremberg: sumptibus Joannis Christophori Lochner, 1696.

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Thinking Outside the Sphere Bibliographical References from Secondary Sources, with Notes and Quotations Authors/dates of the rare works exhibited are in bold, followed by the secondary sources, notes, and quotations relating to the exhibit catalog text.

Section 1: The Ancient Universe Plato 1520

Back to catalog entry Plato1520 The starry sphere controlled the motion of the planets: Plato. Timaeus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. The Dialogues of Plato. New York: Random House, 1937. 2 vols. (Jowett 2: 17-18). Plato wrote that the Creator “gave dominion to the motion of the same”. While Plato proposes in Timaeus that the “circle of the same” formed the sphere of the stars, the “circle of the diverse” was divided into the circles or orbits of the planets; he does not describe the planets as affixed to spheres. Myth of Er: Plato. Republic, Book X. (Jowett 1: 874). In contrast to the sphere of stars described in Plato’s rational cosmological work Timaeus, his fanciful tale of Er describes the stars as forming a hemisphere. Inside it, each planet was attached to its own hemisphere, each inside the other, likened in the tale to a set of vessels. Plato in this imaginary work thus introduced a nested model of the universe. Aristotle established a nested spheres model (see entry for Aristotle 1495 work below), presenting a stellar sphere as in Plato’s Timaeus, but asserting that the planets resided in spheres within it. Relevant quotations: Plato on the spherical form of the universe and circular motion The Creator… “made the world in the form of a globe… having its extremes in every direction equidistant from the centre, the most perfect and the most like itself of all figures; for he considered that the like is infinitely fairer than the unlike... and he made the universe a circle moving in a circle.” Timaeus (Jowett 2: 16). Plato on the creation of the sphere of the stars The Creator 189


compounded all of the elements and then divided the mixture “lengthways into two parts, which he joined to one another at the centre like the letter X, and bent them into circular form,” connecting the ends together to form an inner circle and an outer circle. The outer circle, which had dominion over the motion of the inner one, formed the sphere of the stars. The inner circle “he divided in six places and made seven unequal circles having their intervals in ratios of two and three…; and three *the Sun, Mercury, and Venus] he made to move with equal swiftness, and the remaining four [the Moon, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter] to move with unequal swiftness.” Timaeus (Jowett 2: 17-18). Plato on the stars The Creator fashioned the stars “out of fire, that they might be the brightest of all things and fairest to behold, and he fashioned them after the likeness of the universe in the figure of a circle… distributing them over the whole circumference of heaven, which was to be a true cosmos or glorious world spangled with them all over.” Timaeus (Jowett 2: 21).

Aristotle 1495

Back to catalog entry Aristotle1495 The nested spheres model; the necessity of the spherical shape of the universe: Aristotle wrote: “The shape of the heaven is of necessity spherical…Now the first figure [the sphere] belongs to the first body, and the first body is that at the farthest circumference *the sphere of the stars+… The same then will be true of the body continuous with it: for that which is continuous with the spherical is spherical. The same again holds of the bodies between these and the centre [the earth]. Bodies which are bounded by the spherical and in contact with it must be, as wholes, spherical; and the bodies below the sphere of the planets are contiguous with the sphere above them. The sphere then will be spherical throughout; for every body within it is contiguous and continuous with spheres.” Aristotle. “On the Heavens.” Trans. W. D. Ross. Great Books of the Western World. Ed. Robert Maynard Hutchins. Chicago: Wm. Benton, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952. (On the Heavens 2.4.286b,10-287a,10). Relevant quotations:

190


Aristotle accounted for the appearance of the orbits of the planets from earth, including retrograde motion, by providing more spheres than planets: “That the movements are more numerous than the bodies that are moved is evident…; for each of the planets has more than one movement.” (Metaphysics 12.8.1073b,7-10). Aristotle assigned the number of spheres required for the planets, establishing the foundation on which Ptolemy would build his sophisticated system. Aristotle first mentioned the system of Eudoxus and the contributions of others. He then wrote: “But it is necessary, if all the spheres combined are to explain the observed facts, that for each of the planets there should be other spheres… which counteract those already mentioned and bring back to the same position the outermost sphere of the stars… for only thus can all the forces at work produce the observed motion of the planets. Since the spheres involved in the movement of the planets themselves are eight for Saturn and Jupiter and twenty-five for the others” and additional spheres are required to counteract various motions, “therefore the number of all the spheres, both those which move the planets and those which counteract these, will be fifty-five. And if one were not to add [the spheres of Callippus], the whole set of spheres will be forty-seven in number.” (Metaphysics 12.8.1074a,1-14). Opening page of Aristotle’s On the Heavens: Cahill, Hugh. "Every Person Naturally Seeks to Know” Rare Books Collection, Kings College, London, an online exhibition of books on ancient Greek science and medicine from the Foyle Special Collections Library. August 25, 2005. Web. 2009. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/iss/library/speccoll/exhibitions/gsci/ast.html

Aristotle 1550

Back to catalog entry Aristotle1550 The motion of the sphere of stars… God as final cause: Aristotle. “Metaphysics” Trans. W. D. Ross. Great Books of the Western World. Ed. Robert Maynard Hutchins. Chicago: Wm. Benton, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952. (Metaphysics 12.7.1072b,9). Aristotle wrote: “...motion in a circle is the first kind of spatial motion, and this the first mover produces.” 191


Heavenly source of rotation of the sphere of stars was associated with its shape: Aristotle. “On the Heavens”. Trans. W. D. Ross. Great Books of the Western World. Ed. Robert Maynard Hutchins, 1952: “The perfect is naturally prior to the imperfect, and the circle is a perfect thing…” (On the Heavens 1.2.269a,20) “The activity of God is immortality, i.e. eternal life. Therefore the movement of that which is divine must be eternal. But such is the heaven, viz. a divine body, and for that reason to it is given the circular body whose nature it is to move always in a circle...” (On the Heavens 2.3.286a,10); “Let us consider generally which shape is primary among planes and solids alike… The sphere is among solids what the circle is among plane figures… Alone among solids [geometers] leave the sphere undivided, as not possessing more than one surface …the sphere is first of solid figures… It follows that the body which revolves with a circular movement must be spherical.” (On the Heavens 2.4.286b,12-287a,5). Relevant quotation Aristotle on the role of the sphere of the fixed stars in the nested spheres model: “In thinking of the life and moving principal of the several heavens one must regard the first [outermost sphere] as far superior to the others. Such a superiority would be reasonable. For this single first motion has to move many of the divine bodies [planets], while the numerous other motions move only one each since each planet moves with a variety of motions.” (On the Heavens 2.12.292b,30).

Regiomontanus 1496

Back to catalog entry Regiomontanus1496 Ptolemy revolutionized astronomy: Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. 7-8. Gingerich notes that with his Almagest, “Ptolemy’s goal is nothing less than the calculation of planetary positions at any time—past, present, or future.” Toomer, G. J., transl. Ptolemy’s Almagest. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984. 37-40; 192


321-327; 419-420. Ptolemy generally reiterates the traditional (Aristotelian) sphere of the stars. He then introduces his system for the planets, giving assurance “that all their apparent anomalies can be represented by uniform circular motions”. Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 34-35. In his Planetary Hypothesis (not the Almagest), Ptolemy provided the first scientific estimate of the distance from earth to the sphere of the fixed stars, interpreted by Webb as about 60 million miles. Van Helden, Albert. Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. 15, 20-24. Includes an excellent comparison of the general order of the planets given in the Almagest and the defined nested orbits of the planets described in the Planetary Hypothesis.

On Regiomontanus and Peurbach: O'Connor, J. J. and E. F. Robertson. Georg Peurbach. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. August 2006. Web. 2009. http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Biographies/Peurbach.html Provides biographies of Peurbach and Regiomontanus and describes the joint project of preparing the exhibited work of Ptolemy’s Almagest.

Ptolemy 1515

Back to catalog entry Ptolemy1515 Ptolemy diverged from Aristotle’s ideal system…the earth was not the precise center: Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. 8-9; 139-145. Ptolemy’ star catalog printed for the first time in this edition of Almagest: Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/pto.htm Ptolemy 1515 is the second entry in this online exhibit. 193


Section 2: The Enduring Earth-Centered System Peurbach 1573

Back to catalog entry Peurbach1573

On Apollonius of Perga and Hipparchus: [Note: Ptolemy inherited seeds of the ideas of the epicycle/deferent and of orbits not centered on earth from these ancient astronomers.] Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. 7-8. Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 34-35. On Ptolemy’s astronomical system: Toomer, G. J., transl. Ptolemy’s Almagest. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984. 420. Toomer notes that “In his Planetary Hypothesis [see below] Ptolemy proposes a system in which the spheres of the planets are contiguous”. Goldstein, Bernard R. “The Arabic version of Ptolemy’s Planetary Hypothesis.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 2nd ser. 57. 4 (1967): 3-12. Book I, part 2 of Ptolemy’s Planetary Hypothesis includes his estimate of the distance to the sphere of stars, and establishes absolute distances for the planets that leave no space between their nested orbits, for example: “The distances of the three remaining planets may be determined without difficulty from the nesting of the spheres, where the least distance of a sphere is considered equal to the greatest distance of the sphere below it.” Note: While Ptolemy retained Aristotle’s sphere of stars, scholars do not interpret Ptolemy’s planetary spheres as complete spheres; Ptolemy refers to “sawn portions” of spheres, or “tambourines”. *Peter Barker. Personal interview. 2009]. Barker, Peter. “Copernicus and the Critics of Ptolemy.” Journal for the History of Astronomy, (Nov.1999): 343-344. Web. 2009. Regarding the nature of Ptolemy’s spheres in the Planetary Hypothesis, Barker describes nested concentric shells “rotating about axes that were diameters” and notes that the shells were later called orbs.

194


Peurbach emphasized the solid nature of the spheres: O'Connor, J. J. and E. F. Robertson. Georg Peurbach. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. August 2006. Web. 2009. http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Biographies/Peurbach.html On the epicycle “immersed in the depth” of its orb, etc.: Aiton, E. J. “Peurbach’s Theoricae novae planetarum.” Osiris 2nd series. 3 (1987): 12, 15.

Sacro Bosco 1482

Back to catalog entry Sacrobosco1482 On this Ratdolt edition of Sacro Bosco: Gingerich, Owen. “Sacrobosco Illustrated.” Between Demonstration and Imagination: Essays in the History of Science and Philosophy Presented to John D. North. Ed. Lodi Nauta and Arjo Banderjagt. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, 1999. 211.

Schreckenfuchs 1556 General info/no refs

Sacro Bosco 1490 General info/no refs

Hyginus 1512

Back to catalog entry Hyginus1512 This work was usually called the Poeticon Astronomicon: Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/hygb.htm Hyginus 1512 is the fourth entry in this online exhibit.

Fine, Oronce 1542

Back to catalog entry Fine1542 Among the works he edited were Peurbach’s: Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimental Science. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941. 8 vols. (Thorndike V: The Sixteenth Century) 284-291. Among the works he edited were… Apian’s: 195


Short, John R. Making Space: Revisioning the World 1475-1600. Syracuse University Press, 2004. 42-44. Web (Google Books, accessed 2009). Fine had published a book about…an equatorium: O’Connor, J. J. and E.F. Robertson. Oronce Fine. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.September 2005. Web. 2009. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Fine.html

Apian 1550 General info/no refs

Fludd 1617

Back to catalog entry Fludd1617

On the angelic orders: Godwin, Joscelyn. Robert Fludd: Hermetic philosopher and surveyor of two worlds. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979. 21, 22. “Christian angelic hierarchy.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. [n.d.] Web. 2009.

Galucci 1588 General info/no refs.

Clavius 1570

Back to catalog entry Clavius1570 On the influence of Clavius on Jesuit scholarship: Lattis, James M. Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the collapse of Ptolemaic cosmology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. 217219. On Clavius as one of few astronomers likely to have understood the mathematics of Copernicus: Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. 235.

Clavius 1611

Back to catalog entry Clavius1611 Regarding biblical images on the title page: Remmert, Volker. “Picturing Jesuit anti-Copernican Consensus: astronomy and biblical exegesis in the engraved title-page of Clavius’ Opera mathematica.” Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540-1773. Toronto: University of 196


Toronto Press. 2006. 301-304.

Scheiner 1614

Back to catalog entry Scheiner1614 On Scheiner’s image showing why the earth cannot rotate: Ashworth, William B. “Iconography of a new physics.” History and Technology 4.2 (1987): 271-272.

Gassendi 1653

Back to catalog entry Gassendi1653 On Gassendi and the sun-centered system: Hagen, John. "Pierre Gassendi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. Web. 2009. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06391b.htm>. Gassendi on atomism, magnetism, and moving particles: Donahue, William. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. New York: Arno Press, 1981. 273-275.

Lipstorp 1650

Back to catalog entry Lipstorp1653 (Bound with Descartes' Opera, 1650; the illustration appears in separately paginated work at end: Copernicus Redivivus. 1653). Lipstorp subscribed to the universal system of Descartes: Donahue, William. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. NY: Arno Press, 1981. 277; 288-289. On the number of heavens: Magruder, Kerry V. “Jesuit Science After Galileo: The Cosmology of Gabriele Beati.” Centaurus. 51. 3 (August 2009): 195-196.

Section 3: The Sun Takes Center Stage Cellarius 1661

Back to catalog entry Cellarius1661 On the conception of the atlas by the printer Janson: 197


Gent, Robert Harry van. The finest atlas of the heavens. [Harmonia macrocosmica of 1660; Facsimile with introduction]. Hong Kong; Los Angeles: Taschen, 2006. 9; 239. Quotes from Copernicus: Koyre. From the closed world to the infinite universe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1957. 31-33. The quote “But in the center…the whole of it” continues: “Therefore it is not improperly that some people call it the lamp of the world… Thus, assuredly, as residing in the royal see *seat or throne+ the Sun governs the surrounding family of stars.”

Scheuchzer 1734 General info/no refs.

Wing 1651

Back to catalog entry Wing1651

General info on Wing: Applebaum, Wilbur. “Vincent Wing.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 1976.

Wright 1742

Back to catalog entry Wright1742

Ancient authors quoted by Copernicus: Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. 188. Relevant quotation: Plato on the creation of the sun (in the earth-centered universe): “That there might be some visible measure of *the planets’+ relative swiftness and slowness as they proceeded in their eight courses, God lighted a fire, which we now call the sun, in the second from the earth of these orbits, that it might give light to the whole of heaven, and that the *planets+ might participate in number… Thus, then, and for this reason the night and the day were created.” Timaeus (Jowett 2:20) See sections 5-7 for quotes regarding other stars as suns 198


Section 4: The Spheres of the Planets Shatter Brahe 1632

Back to catalog entry Brahe1632 Quote from Brahe, and his discovery of the new star: Hirshfeld, Alan. Parallax: the Race to Measure the Cosmos. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2001. 75; 81-82. Aristotle had taught that no changes occurred in the realm of the stars and planets: Aristotle wrote that we “see nothing coming to be spontaneously in the heavens” (Physics II.4.196b, 1-4). Aristotle on the incorruptibility of the heavens: Aristotle wrote: “If the body which moves with a circular motion cannot admit of increase or diminution, it is reasonable to suppose that it is also unalterable...So far as our inherited records reach, no change appears to have taken place either in the whole scheme of the outermost heaven [the sphere of the fixed stars] or in any of its proper parts.” Aristotle adds that the very word aither (the medium in which the stars reside) means runs always for an eternity of time, and that this word, “handed down from our distant ancestors even to our own day” supports the eternal, unchanging nature of the sphere of the fixed stars. (On the Heavens 1.3.270a, 33- 270b, 24) Aristotelian doctrine on unchanging realm of stars can be recognized in Ptolemy’s Almagest: Toomer, G. J., transl. Ptolemy’s Almagest. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984. 321322.

Blaue 1662

Back to catalog entry Blaue1662 On Brahe’s observatory, the discovery of the comet, and its location in the celestial realm: Hirshfeld, Alan. Parallax: the Race to Measure the Cosmos. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2001. 85; 88-89.

199


That the comet convinced Brahe of the fluidity of heavens: Grant, Edward. Planets, Stars, and Orbs: the Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 347-353. Tycho’s universal system precluded material celestial spheres: The spheres of Mars and the sun would intersect. Lattis, James M. Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology. The University of Chicago Press, 1994. 211. Quote by Brahe from his treatise: Translated by Bruce Bradley, Librarian for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library, from Dreyer, J.L.E. (ed.) Opera Omnia (1913-29), vol. 4 (De mundi aetherei). 222.

Kepler 1606

Back to catalog entry Kepler1606 A new star in Cygnus was discovered by Blaeu: Frommert, Hartmut . “Early variable star discoverers.” Spider’s Homepage. SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). 1995. Web. 2009. http://seds.org/~spider/spider/Vars/Add/var-dis.html Kepler’s new star in the constellation Opiuchus: Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/kep.htm Kepler 1606 is the 11th entry in this online exhibit. Kepler estimated the extent of the sphere of the fixed stars: Taton, Rene and Curtis Wilson. Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics. Cambridge University Press, 1989. (Part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton). 74. Note: Kepler suggested that the sun is in the middle of the universe; other stars are symmetrically arranged around it. See Donahue, William H. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres: 1595-1650. New York: Arno Press, 1981. 96. Note: Kepler’s stellar sphere was only a few miles in thickness. See Van Helden, Albert. Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley. The University of Chicago Press, 1985. 88. 200


Kepler’s rejection of planetary spheres; quote about Brahe: Donahue, William H. Johannes Kepler: New Astronomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. 379.

Kepler 1619 General info/no refs.

Beati 1662

Back to catalog entry Beati1662

On Beati’s cosmos: Magruder, Kerry V. “Jesuit Science After Galileo: the Cosmology of Gabriele Beati.” Centaurus 51. 3 (August 2009): cosmos 189-212; cosmos and Tychonic system 204; cosmos and scripture 196-198. On Beati’s work as representing the dissolution of the planetary spheres: Ashworth, William B. “Iconography of a New Physics.” History and Technology 4.2 (1987): 267-268. On Clavius’ opposition to fluid heavens: Specifically the reference to “fish in the sea or birds in the air”: Lattis, James M. Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. 103. The quote from Aristotle is provided in full at the end of the bibliographical references for Section 1. (Metaphysics 12.8.1074a,1-14).

Section 5: The Sphere of Fixed Stars Dissolves Note: several authors who provided these early depictions of the stars dispersed also supported the idea of the “plurality of worlds” (see quotes re: “stars as suns” in this section, and section 7)

Bruno 1591

Back to catalog entry Bruno1591

On statement from trial: Saiber, Arielle. “Ornamental Flourishes in Giordano Bruno’s Geometry.” Sixteenth 201


Century Journal 34. 3 (2003): 741. The trilogy included De triplici minimo et mensura, De monade, and De immenso: Gatti, Hilary. Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. 29. A source book of Euclidean proofs: Saiber. 731. On Bruno’s opinion that mathematics lacked vincoli, the bonds of love, that exist between number, figure, form, divinity, and nature: Saiber. 731; 742. On the atom as infused with the divine: Schettino, Ernesto. “The Necessity of the Minima in the Nolan Philosophy.” Giordano Bruno, Philosopher of the Renaissance. Ed. Hilary Gatti. Hants, England: Ashgate, 2002. 313; and Gatti, Hilary. Giordano Bruno and Renaissnce Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. 134. On the images as devices internal to the mind, symbolizing aspects of the atom: Gatti. 1999. 164-166. On the meaning of the three temple images: Gatti. 1999. 164-173. On the temple images (mens, intellectus, amor) as seals against the mathematicians: Yates, Frances A. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. University of Chicago Press, 1964. 319. On Bruno’s carving of the woodblocks: Yates. 320. Quote “Convince our minds of the infinite universe…”: Bruno, Giordano. On the Infinite Universe and Worlds. 1584. Trans. Dorothea Waley Singer. New York: Schuman, 1950. (End of 5th dialogue, 12th argument) 377378. 202


Relevant quotation: Bruno was an early and ardent advocate of multiple worlds, viewing the stars as suns. For example, Bruno’s character Philotheo suggests that space has no centre nor boundary [an idea from Nicolas of Cusa], and that “there are in this space those countless bodies such as our earth and other earths, our sun and other suns, which all revolve within this infinite space… The earth no more than any other world is at the center… and the same is true of all other bodies.” (On the Infinite Universe and Worlds 2nd dialogue, following fifth argument; Singer. 280).

Digges 1596

Back to catalog entry Digges1596

A few years before Bruno: Johnson, Francis R. “The influence of Thomas Digges on the progress of modern astronomy in XVIth century England.” Osiris 1 (1936): 391. Note: The Digges image first appeared in the 1576 edition of his father’s almanac, and Bruno’s Le Cena de le Ceneri (his first exposition on infinite worlds) did not appear until 1584. Digges provided the first English translation of Copernicus: Johnson. 391 Digges presented the infinite universe as part of Copernicus’ system: Johnson. 404. Digges was educated by John Dee: Johnson. 398-399. Dee’s library: “John Dee (Mathematician).” Absolute Astronomy Encyclopedia. n.d. Web. 2009. The article states: “In his lifetime Dee amassed the largest library in England and one of the largest in Europe… Dee's library, a center of learning outside the universities, became the greatest in England and attracted many scholars.” 203


Dee owned a copy of Lucretius: French, Peter T. John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan Magus. NY: Routledge, 1972 (reprinted 2002). 46. Relevant quotations: Note: The stars had been perceived as limited to a sphere chiefly because the stellar sphere was thought to rotate. Digges’ translation of Copernicus made it clear that in that system, the sphere of the stars no longer moved. If it did not move, Digges understood that it could extend up without limit. He encouraged the idea that the stars were at varying distances from earth. The text on the plate: “This orbe of starres fixed infinitely up extendeth hit self in altitude sphericallye, and therefore immovable / The palace of foelicitye garnished with perpetuall shininge glorious lightes innumerable, farr excelling our sonne both in quantitye and qualitye ; the very court of coelestiall angels, devoid of greefe and replenished with perfite endless joye; the habitacle for the elect.”

Gilbert 1651

Back to catalog entry Gilbert1651 Several ideas in De magnete are expanded upon in this later publication: Kelly, Sister Suzanne. The De Mundo of William Gilbert. Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger & Co., 1965. 25. Note: Kelly writes that the “Physiologiae… section *first two books of De mundo] was an expansion of the cosmology in the sixth book of De magnete.” Kelly. 58. Note: Kelly writes that In De magnete, Gilbert “denied the existence of the crystalline spheres…, posited the void and effluvia surrounding each star and planet, scattered the fixed stars at varying distances from the Earth… but only in De mundo did he explain these ideas in detail.” Quotes from De magnete: Gilbert, William. On the Loadstone. Trans. P. Fleury Mottelay. Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1892 [reprinted 1938]. 319-320. 204


Koyré, Alexandre. From the closed world to the infinite universe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1957. 55-57. Note: After mentioning that Gilbert accepted the rotation of the earth, Koyre includes Gilbert’s quote [from Book VI, chapter III of De magnete] denying adamantine spheres and denying the sphere of the fixed stars, and extends the quote to include the passage: “How immeasurable then must be the space which stretches to those remotest of the fixed stars! How vast and immense the depth of that imaginary sphere!”

Kircher 1660

Back to catalog entry Kircher1660

On the influence of Kircher: Fletcher, John E. “Astronomy in the Life and Correspondence of Athanasius Kircher.” Isis 61.1. 206 (1970): 52-53. Beyond the great philosopher’s correspondence, Fletcher also notes that in Rome, “many visited Father Kircher”. On the Iter narrative: Fletcher. 58; Note: reference to stars as suns: “The Iter exstaticum coeleste…explicitly characterized the fixed stars as suns with encircling planets, although it denied inhabitants even to the planets of our solar system…” (Dick, Steven J. Plurality of Worlds. Cambridge University Press, 1982. 116).

Guericke 1672

Back to catalog entry Guericke1672 Note: Guericke received a copy of Kircher’s Iter (1660; see entry above) and it inspired him to expand his Experimenta Nova to include a physical astronomical treatise: Volk, O. “Remarks about the History of Celestial Mechanics.” Celestial Mechanics 2. 3 (1970): 431. On Guericke’s studies of air and space: Van Helden, Albert. “Guericke, Otto von.” Galileo Project. Rice University. 1995. Web. 2009. http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/guericke.html This image includes, for the first time, real named stars in their proper places…: 205


Ashworth, William B. (Exhibit Advisor). Note to C. Rogers. February 2010. Relevant quotes: After quoting from Kircher’s work, Guericke asserts that the stars are suns having their own satellites: “It can be concluded from this that the fixed stars, which we see, are suns and that among them there are some bodies, invisible to us here on earth, which undergo a remarkable variety of phases like our moon. These bodies are lighted by the suns, as our moon and the other planets are, and must be planets of these suns or solar bodies.” (Experimenta nova. 7.4; The new (so-called) Magdeburg experiments of Otto von Guericke / by Otto von Guericke. Trans. Margaret Glover Foley Ames. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994. 366.)

Mesmes 1557

Back to catalog entry Mesmes1557 Noted as one of the earliest French works providing a description of the Copernican system: Baumgartner, Frederic J. “Skepticism and French Interest in Copernicanism to 1630.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 17 (1986): 78. The unusual inclusion of a comet or meteor in the sphere of the fixed stars: As this work (published the year after the comet of 1556) predates Brahe’s new star of 1572, earlier influences must be sought that support change in the stellar sphere or heavenly realm. For example, Girolamo Cardano published works on comets in 1550 and 1557 suggesting that they were between the moon and the stars. (Donahue, William H. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. NY: Arno Press, 1981. 52; see also: Tabbitta Van Nouhuys. The age of two-faced Janus: the Comets of 1577 and 1618. Leiden: Brill, 1998. 85. Web (Google Books).

Section 6: Motive Forces and the Stars

206


Zahn 1696

Back to catalog entry Zahn1696 Aristotle on the ultimate motive force and love: Aristotle. “Metaphysics.” Trans. W.D. Ross. Great Books of the Western World. Ed. Robert Maynard Hutchins. Chicago: Wm. Benton, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952. (Metaphysics 12.7.1072b,3-9). On fiat as motive force: Donahue. Dissolution.197. On fiat in the form of angels as motive force: Donahue, William. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. New York: Arno Press, 1981. 191. Grant, Edward. Planets, Stars, and Orbs: the Medieval Cosmos 1200-1687. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. 567-568. On Zahn’s Specula physico: Kanas, Nick. Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2007. 167.

Gilbert 1600

Back to catalog entry Gilbert1600

Description of plate: Gilbert. De Magnete 5.12; Thompson 206. Quote “The centre of the magnetic virtues…” Gilbert. De Magnete 2.27; Thompson 95. Gilbert was an animist in the tradition of Plato: Note: for example see the following passages: Plato. Timaeus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. The Dialogues of Plato. New York: Random House, 1937. 2 vols. (Jowett 2: 15-16). Gilbert. De Magnete. Trans. Silvanus P. Thompson. On the Magnet by William Gilbert. (Reprint of 1900 ed.) New York: Basic Books, 1958. 209. [see full quotes below under Relevant Quotations] Additional quotes regarding the animist tradition: 207


Plato: “Intelligence could not be present in anything which was devoid of soul. For which reason, when [the Creator] was framing the universe, he put intelligence in soul, and soul in body.” Timaeus (Jowett 2:14) Gilbert: “…nothing is excellent, nor precious, nor eminent, that hath not soul… Therefore the bodies of the globes…had need of souls to be conjoined to them, for else there were neither life… nor coherence, nor conactus, nor sympathia.” De Magnete 5.12; Trans. P. Fleury Mottelay. William Gilbert …On the Loadstone… 1600. Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1892 (reprinted 1938). 310. On the “intelligent” behavior of magnets: Gilbert. De Magnete. Trans. P. Fleury Mottelay. William Gilbert …On the Loadstone… 1600. Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1892 (reprinted 1938). 311-312. [see full quote below under Relevant Quotations] Relevant quotations: Plato on the soul of the universe: “Now to the animal which was to comprehend all animals, that figure was suitable which comprehends within itself all other figures. Wherefore he made the world in the form of a globe… the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form [circular motion] was assigned to him… And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet… And in the centre he put the soul, which he diffused throughout the body… and he made the universe a circle moving in a circle, one and solitary, yet by reason of its excellence able to converse with itself, and needing no other friendship or acquaintance.” Timaeus (Jowett 2: 15-16) Gilbert on the soul of the universe: “We consider that the whole universe is animated, and that all the globes, all the stars, and also the noble earth have been governed since the beginning by their own appointed souls and have motives of self-conservation.” Gilbert’s passage continues: “…organs *of the animate world+…are not fashioned of flesh and blood as animals, or composed of regular limbs. Nor can any organs be discerned or imagined by us 208


in any of the stars, the sun, or the planets.” (De Magnete 5.12; Thompson 209) Gilbert on the intelligent action of the magnetic soul quote continues as follows: “…an unending action, quick, definite, constant…, harmonious, through the whole mass of matter… These movements… are not produced by thoughts or reasonings… like human acts, which are… imperfect and indeterminate, *but rather the acts of the globes have] in them reason, knowledge, science, judgment, whence proceed acts positive and definite from the very foundations and beginnings of the world [which] because of the weakness of our soul, we cannot comprehend.” (De Magnete 5.12; Mottelay 311-312)

Kepler 1609

Back to catalog entry Kepler1609 Kepler applied Gilbert’s magnetism to the sun: “By the demonstration of the Englishman William Gilbert, the earth itself is a big magnet, and is said by the same author… to rotate once a day, just as I conjecture about the sun… It is therefore plausible, since the earth moves the moon through its species and is a magnetic body, while the sun moves the planets similarly through an emitted species, that the sun is likewise a magnetic body.” Kepler. Astronomia Nova 3.34.176; New Astronomy. Trans. William H. Donahue. Cambridge University Press, 1992. 390-391. [See also under Pemberton in this section for more on Kepler and magnetism]. Kepler presented an analogy, illustrated in this diagram: This image appears in chapter 57 of Kepler’s Astronomia Nova. Kepler introduces it by referring to an earlier mention of the analogy he is about to present: “We shall be obliged once again to take up our oars which were introduced in chapter 39” *but the passage is actually in chapter 38]. Kepler. Astronomia Nova 4.57.270; New Astronomy. Trans. William H. Donahue. 549. In chapter 38, Kepler describes how ferrymen sometimes suspend a cable high above a river and tether the boat to it with another rope, and that in this way, the ferrymen can make “the skiffs go in circles, send them hither and thither, and play a thousand tricks, without touching the bottom or the banks, but by the use of the oar alone, directing the…flow of the river to their own ends”. Kepler. Astronomia 209


Nova 3.38.185; Donahue 405. Kepler then applies this analogy to the diagram in chapter 57, which has the sun at one focus within the circle. “Let there be a circular river CDE, FGH, and in it a sailor who revolves his oar once in twice the periodic time of the planet, by an inherent and perfectly uniform force…. Now the stream, flowing down upon the oar at DE will push the ship down toward A, while at C it will push very little.” “The impulse will be less at C than at F, since our river is weak at C and strong at F” corresponding to the acceleration and deacceleration of the orbit of a planet. Kepler. Astronomia Nova 4.57.270; Donahue 549-550.

Descartes 1644

Back to catalog entry Descartes1644 Ginzburg, Vladimir B. Prime elements of ordinary matter. Boca Raton: Universal Publishers, 2007 (2nd ed.) 24-27. On Anaximander’s vortex theory; as soon as contrary qualities are manifest, they are reabsorbed into the uncreated; vortex theory of Anaxagoras; Empedocles and tea leaves. Quote “If some straws are floating…” : Descartes. Principia Philosophia 3.30; Trans. Valentine Rodger Miller. Principles of Philosophy. London: Reidel, 1983. 96. Description of plate: “If S, for example, is the Sun… : Descartes 3.23; Miller 92-93. Description of the origin of the movement of comets: Descartes 3.126; Miller 155-163. Relevant Quotations Aristotle on the vortex: “Empedocles…says that the world, by being whirled around, received a movement quick enough to overpower its own downward tendency, and thus has been kept from destruction all this time.” (De Caelo 2.1.284a,25) Aristotle on the ultimate cause of motion according to Anaxagoras and Empedocles: “If then it is possible that at any time nothing should be in motion, this must come about in one of two ways: either 210


in the manner described by Anaxagoras, who says that all things were together and at rest for an infinite period of time, and that then Mind introduced motion and separated them; or in the manner described by Empedocles, according to whom the universe is alternately in motion and at rest—in motion, when Love is making the one out of many, or Strife is making many out of one, and at rest in the intermediate periods of time.” (Physica 8.1.250b,25)

Seller 1700

Back to catalog entry Seller1700 Aristotle wrote that an infinite stellar region cannot rotate: “The infinite,…cannot,… move in a circle. For there is no centre of the infinite, and that which moves in a circle moves about the centre.” (De Caelo 1.7.275b,15) On souls of the planets as motive force: Donahue, William H. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. New York: Arno Press, 1981. 192. Thompson, Silvanus Phillips. On the Magnet by William Gilbert. (Reprint of Thompson’s translation published in 1900). New York: Basic Books, 1958. 209210. Descartes sought a mechanical explanation: Note: Implying that there are no physical spheres in the heavens by asserting that the heavens are fluid, “an opinion which is now commonly held by all Astronomers,” Descartes clarifies that fluidity is not the same as empty space, as some astronomers suggested. Empty space “not only offers no resistance to the motion of other bodies, but also lacks the force to carry them along with it”. The particles comprising the fluid heavens, Descartes asserts, “have motion in themselves” allowing them to move the heavenly bodies. Descartes. Principia Philosophia 3.24-25. Trans. Valentine Rodger Miller. Principles of Philosophy. London: Reidel, 1983. 93. [On God as the ultimate source of motion in Descartes, see under Pemberton].

211


Newton 1729

Back to catalog entry Newton1729 This frontispiece features a novel view of a novel idea: Note: The image of the solar system in the frontispiece of volume 1 is unique in that it indicates lines of gravity. One possible inspiration for it may be found in the diagram labeled as Figure 5 on Plate 5 of vol.2 (illustrating Proposition XXV, Theorem XX, in Book 2). This diagram is among a few diagrams drawn in shadow in the foreground of the frontispiece of volume 2, drawing a visual connection between the frontispieces. In the second frontispiece, gravity is represented by putti performing pendulum experiments on the resistance of air (behind them at right, the fluid experiments can be seen in shadow). Note: The frontispiece of volume 1 includes a passage from a dedicatory poem by Edmund Halley found at the beginning of Newton’s work: “Mathematics drove away the Cloud, no longer doubting in the mists we stray; Genius’ high summit grants to us the Way to reach the blessed Gods’ Abodes and pierce the lofty Limits of the Universe.” (trans.by Otto Steinmayer). Another passage from the poem more directly relates to the image of the solar system: “The inmost place of the heavens, now gained, breaks into view, nor longer hidden is the force that turns the farthest orb. The sun exalted on his throne bids all things tend toward him by inclination and descent.” (trans. By Leon Richardson). Halley makes a poetic reference to the farthest orb (the stellar sphere), which by that time was no longer thought to exist or to turn, and the last sentence corresponds well with the pendulum theme and the lines of gravity shown. Newton describes extensive experiments: “I found the resistance of the air by the following experiments. I suspended a wooden globe or ball… by a fine thread on a firm hook, so that the distance between the hook and the centre of oscillation of the globe was 10 ½ foot…” (Motte. Book II. Section VI. Gen.Schol. 95-96.) “In order to compare the resistance of different fluids with each other, I made the following trial. I procured a wooden vessel 4 feet long… This vessel, being uncovered, I filled with spring water, and having immersed pendulums therein, I made them oscillate in the water.” (Motte. Book II. Section VI. Gen. Schol. 103) He stated that gravity affects the bodies of the planets in the solar system in the same way that it pulls bodies toward the earth: “The nature of gravity towards the planets is the same as towards the earth… The weights of the planets toward the sun must be as their quantities of matter.” 212


(Motte. Book III. Prop. VI. Theor. VI. 221-222). Quote: “If the circumsolar Planets were supposed to be let fall…” Motte. Book III. Prop. VI. Theorem VI. 222.

Pemberton 1728

Back to catalog entry Pemberton1728 On gravity not inherent: “That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter…is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.” Newton. Letter to Richard Bentley. MS. Newton Project. University of Sussex. [n.d.] Web. 2009. http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk Inherent soul replaced by matter in motion: Roger, Jacques. “The mechanistic conception of life”. God & Nature. Ed. David Lindberg. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. 280. “According to the Epicurean philosophy, atoms were naturally endowed with activity; there was no need for any other source of motion.” In the 17th century, “The majority of scientists regarded matter as entirely passive”; God gave matter motion. On Kepler’s rejection of anima as motive force in his Epitome: Gingerich, Owen. Johannes Kepler, in part A, p. 74 of Rene Taton. Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics. Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Note: in his Astronomia nova, Kepler addresses himself, agreeing with Plato regarding the motion of the planets: “So then, Kepler, would you give each of the planets a pair of eyes? By no means, nor is this necessary, no more than that they need feet or wings in order to move.” But he rejects Plato’s inherent soul: “Anyone who says that the body of a planet is moved by an inherent force is just plain wrong.” (Astronomia nova 3.39.191; Donahue 414). Kepler stops short of rejecting Mind in this work: “the mental motion appears to give evidence of the magnetic one, and to require its assistance, no matter how you equip it with an animate faculty of moving the body. For in the first place, mind by itself can do nothing in a body… an animate faculty cannot transport its body from place to place…Therefore, it will be a 213


magnetic, that is, natural, faculty of sympathy between the bodies of the planet and the sun. Thus the mind calls upon nature and the magnets for assistance.” Kepler. Astronomia Nova 4.57.280; New Astronomy. Trans. William H. Donahue. 568. Note: Although Kepler in his later work denied that the planets were besouled, he never lived down his early musings. A nineteenth century dictionary includes this entry: Kepler’s fairy: the fairy which guides the planets. Kepler said that each planet was guided in its elliptical orbit by a resident angel. (Brewer, E. Cobham. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.) The dictionary entry makes a leap between the Platonic anima and the Christian interpretation of the Aristotelian eternal movers (Metaphysics 12.8.1073b) as angels. On the requirement for God’s continuous presence, in Descartes: Ashworth, William B. “Catholicism and Early Modern Science.” God & Nature. Ed. David Lindberg. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. 139.

“In him all things are contained and moved…” Newton. Principia (General Scholium). Trans. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman. Isaac Newton. The Principia. University of California Press, 1999. 941-942.

Section 7: Plurality of Worlds Huygens 1698

Back to catalog entry Huygens1698 Huygens, Christian. The Celestial Worlds Discover’d. London: Frank Cass and Co., 1968. (Facsimile reproduction). Multitude of earths (Huygens 11) The other planets are like earth: “Now since in so many things they thus agree,” Huygens suggests that “the other planets are as beautiful and as well stock’d with Inhabitants as the Earth”. (Huygens 17-18) Note: other relevant topics: Guessing about distant planets by observing moon (Huygens 18); the planets are solid like the earth; they have gravity as evidenced 214


in their round shape (Huygens 19); let us see by what steps we must rise to the attaining some knowledge in the state and furniture of these new earths. How likely is it that they may be stock’d with plants and animals as well as we are. (Huygens 19); on other solar systems: stars that are distant to us are probably admired at close range by [alien] reasonable creatures. (Huygens 8).

Huygens 1774

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Huygens. 126. “An amazing thing it must be, all of a sudden to have the Sun darken’d, and fall into a pitch-night, without seeing any cause of such an accident. All which while their Moons are their only Comfort.”

Huygens 1724

Back to catalog entry Huygens1724 Bos, Henk J. M. “Christiaan Huygens”. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. NY: Scribner’s, 1972. Crowe, Michael J. The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. 20-22.

Scheiner 1630

Back to catalog entry Scheiner1630

On sunspots as perfect planets: Donahue, William. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres. NY: Arno Press, 1981. 108.

Wilkins 1640 General info/no refs.

Descartes 1656

Back to catalog entry Descartes1656 Our sun was in fact not the center of anything except our own planetary system: Note: as noted under Descartes 1644 in Section 6, Descartes removed our sun from a central location and placed it among the other stars in his theory of vortices. Girodano Bruno had also placed our sun among the other stars; he in turn had been influenced by Nicolas of Cusa, who espoused the idea that “God is an infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.” Grant, Edward. Planets, Stars, and Orbs: the Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 175. 215


The laws of motion of Descartes and of Newton: Ashworth, William B. (Exhibit Advisor). Note to C. Rogers. March 2010: “One interesting consequence of both Descartes’ and Newton’s theories is that, since inertia is universal (Descartes), or gravitation is universal (Newton), then stars could well be other suns, with other planets going around them. This was not true before them (with the significant exception of Bruno).” Not true, for example, of the motive forces of Gilbert or Kepler (see under Section 6). Quote: Lucretius. De Rerum Natura 2.1069; On the Nature of the Universe. Trans. Ronald Latham. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1951. 91.

Mallement 1679

Back to catalog entry Mallement1679 Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Vol. 8. NY: Columbia University Press, 1957. 340. Schechner, Sara J. Comets, Popular Culture and the Birth of Modern Cosmology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. 111.

Fontenelle 1686 General info/no refs.

Fontenelle 1701

Back to catalog entry Fontenelle1701 Delorme, Suzanne. “Fontenelle, Bernard Le Bouyer (or Bovier) De.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. NY: Scribner’s, 1972. Dick, Steven J. Plurality of Worlds. Cambridge University Press, 1982. 123-127.

Bonnycastle 1787

Back to catalog entry Bonnycastle1787 Plato. Timaeus. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. The Dialogues of Plato. New York: Random House, 1937. 2 vols. (Jowett 2:15).

Maupertuis 1742

Back to catalog entry Maupertuis1742 Maupertuis’ concept of variable stars: Ashworth, William B. (Exhibit Advisor). Note to C. Rogers. March 2010. Grant, Robert. History of Physical Astronomy. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1852. 541. Principle of least action: 216


Glass, Bentley. “Maupertuis, Pierre Louis Moreau De.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. NY: Scribner’s, 1974. Nelson, Richard. Ed. “Principle of Least Action: Maupertuis.” Cambridge Forecast Group. 2006. Web. 2009.

Euler 1744

Back to catalog entry Euler1744 Youschkevitch, A. P. “Euler, Leonhard.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. NY: Scribner’s, 1971.

Doppelmayer 1742

Back to catalog entry Doppelmayr1742

Aristotle. De Caelo. 1.9.278a, 25.

Barin 1686

Back to catalog entry Magruder, Kerry V. “The idiom of a six day creation and global depictions in Theories of the Earth.” Geology and Religion. Ed. Martina Kolbl-Ebert. London: Geological Society, 2009. 52-53.

Section 8: Measuring the Distance to the Stars Note: the atlases by Flamsteed, Jamieson, and Meissner are used in the exhibit simply to show the locations of stars that were the focus of various astronomers in the quest for stellar parallax. Atlases appropriate to the periods discussed were selected, although the Flamsteed edition is rather later and was selected because Flamsteed was both a parallax seeker and the source of the atlas. The time span for Gamma Draconis as the focus of parallax ranged from 1669 (Hooke) to 1679 (Flamsteed) to 1725 (Bradley). Guidance with the atlases was provided by William B. Ashworth (Exhibit Advisor).

Flamsteed 1776

Back to catalog entry Flamsteed1776

On Hooke and Draconis: Hirshfeld, Alan W. Parallax: the Race to Measure the Cosmos. NY: Freeman, 2001. 144. On Flamsteed and Draconis: 217


Hirshfeld. 147. On Bradley and Draconis: Hirshfeld. 155-156. On this edition of Flamsteed’s atlas: Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/for.htm The 1776 ed. of Flamsteed’s atlas is catalog number 30; other Flamsteed entries are catalog numbers 27, 33, and 35 in this online exhibit. On Bradley, aberration of light: Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 67-68.

Horrebow 1735 (Roemer)

Back to catalog entry Horrebow1735 Detailed description of Roemer’s transit instrument: Grant, Robert. History of Physical Astronomy. London: Bohn, 1852. 461-467. (translated from Horrebow). This transit instrument, used in Roemer’s home, was his main instrument until his “Tusculan Observatory” was built in 1704. (Grant 465). The transit instrument built in his home was eventually (1715) placed in the Round Tower (Grant 462), which Roemer did not use as his main observatory because of wind. Brief description of the engraving of transit instrument (with image of a commemorative bronze relief inspired by the engraving): Neilson, Axel V. “Ole Roemer and his Meridian Circle.” Vistas in Astronomy. Beer. Ed. London: Pergamon Press, 1968. Vol. 10. 105-112. On Mayer’s use of Roemer’s Triduum, and that the search for parallax inspired Roemer to invent/build his instruments: Hoeg, Erik. “400 Years of Astrometry: from Tycho Brahe to Hipparcos.” Contribution to the History of Astrometry. No. 8. Noordwijk: ESTC (2008):6. 218


On parallax as Roemer’s main goal, and Horrebow’s publications of stellar parallax based on his own and Roemer’s obss.: Moesgaard, Kristian Peder. “How Copernicanism took root in Denmark and Norway.” The Reception of Copernicus’ Heliocentric Theory. Jerzy Dobrzycki. Ed. Dordrecht-Holland: D. Reidel, 1972-73. 142. Note: Moesgaard mentions the meridian circle as built in Roemer’s home observatory but it was not built until his country observatory was complete (Robert Grant 463). The instrument in Roemer’s home observatory was the transit instrument (also used to observe along the meridian). (Robert Grant 463). On Roemer’s results of obss.of Sirius and Lyra [Vega]: Moesgaard states that Roemer “maintains to have found, for the said two stars separated by about 180 degrees, a semestrial variation of the difference between their right ascensions which shows the double sum of their parallaxes to be about 0;1 degree. “ (Moesgaard 142). Roemer was afraid his clocks were off due to affects of temperature variations and did not publish his paper. (Moesgaard 142). Note: Unrelated to his work on stellar parallax, Roemer’s most celebrated contribution to astronomy was his determination of the speed of light. Observing Jupiter’s moon Io over many months, he noted that the time it took for its light to reach his telescope varied with the distance of earth from Io as Earth orbited the sun. He realized that Io’s light took longer to reach earth when earth was further away from Io than when it was closer, and he timed the difference. (Fowler, Michael. “Speed of Light.” UVA Physics Department. N.d. Web. 2009. http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/spedlite.html; Roemer, Ole. “Demonstration touchant le movement de la lumiere.” Journal des Scavans. December 7, 1676.) Relevant Quotation Roemer measured the time it took light to travel from a celestial body to earth; Plato in contrast explained how the celestial bodies measured time: “When the father and creator saw the creature which he has made moving and living…, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to... make the universe eternal, so far as might be. …Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity, and when he set in 219


order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this image we call time… Such was the mind and thought of God in the creation of time. The sun and moon and five other stars, which are called the planets, were created by him in order to distinguish and preserve the numbers of time… And for this reason the fixed stars were created, to be divine and eternal animals, ever-abiding and revolving after the same manner and on the same spot…” (Jowett. v. 2. Timaeus, p. 19)

Jamieson 1822

Back to catalog entry Jamieson1822 Bessel’s parallax: calculated distance in miles 60 trillion: Hirshfeld, Alan W. Parallax: the Race to Measure the Cosmos. NY: Freeman, 2001. 262-263. Ptolemy estimated the distance to the sphere of the fixed stars as about 60 million miles. Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 34. Note: Derived from his Ptolemy’s Planetary Hypothesis. On Bessel’s method: Webb 71.

Arago 1855

Back to catalog entry Arago1855

On the Fraunhofer heliometer: Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 70. Gill, David, Sir. “Heliometer.” 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. (author identified in print ed.). http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Heliometer

220


Meissner 1805

Back to catalog entry Meissner1805

On Henderson: Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 71-72. On the Gold Medal ceremony: Belkora, Leila. Minding the Heavens: the Story of Our Discovery of the Milky Way. Bristol UK: Inst of Physics Pub Inc, 2003. 156.

Section 9: From Solar Systems to Star Systems Wright 1750

Back to catalog entry Wright1750Perspective A summary of Wright’s proposals: Jaki, Stanley L. Trans. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. By Immanuel Kant. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1981. 22 (Introduction). Another summary of Wright’s proposals: Harrison, Edward. Darkness at Night: a Riddle of the Universe. Cambridge MA; London: Harvard University Press, 1987. 103; 241. A discussion of Wright’s proposals: Whitrow, G.J. “Kant and the Extragalactic Nebulae.” Colloquium on Historical Aspects of Astronomy. University of Exeter, 1966. 50-55. On Immanuel Kant’s acknowledgement of Wright’s proposals: Munitz, Milton. Ed. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. By Immanuel Kant. Trans. W. Hastie. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969. xiv-xviii (Introduction). The English translation of the complete review of Wright’s work that was cited by Kant: Hastie, W. Trans. “The Hamburg Account of Wright’s Theory.” Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. By Immanuel Kant. Ed. Milton Munitz. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969. 170-180 (Appendix). 221


Descriptions of the plates are taken from: Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe. 1750. Facsimile reprint. Ed. Michael A. Hoskin. London: Macdonald and Co., 1971: 6265. 1. Perspective view of Milky Way: “the irregularity we observe in it I judge to be entirely owing to our Sun’s Position.” (Wright. 62-63.) 2. Stars orbit a central point: (Note: the realization that the sun and other stars orbit a central point was Wright’s key contribution to astronomy). “It being once agreed, that the stars are in motion,… we must consider in what manner they move.” Stars must move in curves rather than straight lines “i.e. in an orbit”. “It only now remains to shew how a number of stars, so disposed in a circular manner round any given center, may solve the [appearance of the Milky Way]. There are two ways possible [Wright was indifferent about the shape and never stated a preference+… The first is…,. all moving the same way, and not much deviating from the same plane, as the planets in their heliocentric motion do round the solar body. [Diagram]: In this case the primary, secondary, and tertiary constituent orbits, &c. framing the hypotheses, are represented in plate XXII.” This plate identifies the earth (C) orbiting the sun (B), which orbits a central point (A). (Wright. 63.) Back to catalog entry 3. Ring-shaped galaxy: Wright introduces the ring-shaped galaxy on p. 63: “There are two ways possible… The first is…,. all moving the same way, and not much deviating from the same plane” but Wright describes the plate of the ring system on p. 65: “Hence we may imagine some Creations of Stars may move…; others again, as the primary planets do, in a general Zone or Zodiack, or more properly in the manner of Saturn’s rings…as shewn in plate XXVIII [edge-on view of ring shape] . Nothing being more evident, than that if all the stars we see moved in one vast ring, like those of Saturn, round any central body, or point, the general phaenomena of our stars would be solved by it; see plat XXIX” *view of ring shape from above, figure 1; and edge-on, figure 2]. (Wright. 63; 65.) Back to catalog entry 222


4. Spherical galaxy: “The second method of solving this phaenomena, is by a spherical order of the stars, all moving with different direction round one common center…but in a kind of shell, or concave orb.” *plates XXIV-XXV]. Description of plate: “a representation of the Convexity, if I may call it so, of the intire Creation, as a universal Coalition of all the Stars confphered round one general Center.” (Wright. 64.) Back to catalog entry Wright1750Sphere 5. Cross section of spherical galaxy: Description of plate: “a central Section of the same, with the Eye of Providence seated in the Center, as in the virtual Agent of Creation.” (Wright. 64.) Note: Wright proposes an ideal center of the galaxy shown in the plate of the cross section of the spherical galaxy: “Here the to-all extending Eye of Providence” etc.; “Thus in the center of Creation, I would willingly introduce a primitive Fountain” etc. (Wright 78-79.); and a real center of the galaxy shown in the plate of the ring-shaped galaxy : “But what this central Body really is… if the Creation is real and not merely ideal, be either a globe of fire superior to the sun, or otherwise a vast terraqueous or terrestrial sphere...” (Wright. 79.) Back to catalog entry Wright1750Cross

Bode 1812

Back to catalog entry Bode1812 Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/bodb.htm Bode’s Uranigraphia is catalog entry 36 in this online exhibit. Relevant Quotations Galileo and the Milky Way: Although he does not speculate on why the stars would gather there, Galileo’s description of the Milky Way as seen through the telescope for the first time is thrilling: “I have observed the nature and the material of the Milky Way. With the aid of the telescope this has been scrutinized so directly and with such ocular certainty that all the disputes which have vexed 223


philosophers through so many ages have been resolved, and we are at last freed from wordy debates about it. The galaxy is, in fact, nothing but a congeries of innumerable stars grouped together in clusters. Upon whatever part of it the telescope is directed, a vast crowd of stars is immediately presented to view. Many of them are rather large and quite bright, while the number of smaller ones is quite beyond calculation. (Galileo. Sidereus nuncius. 1610. Trans. Stillman Drake. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. NY: Doubleday, 1957.) The apparent variation in the depth of field of the stars inherent in his description lent support to the conception of the stars as dispersed rather than limited to a sphere. Plato and the Milky Way: the only author apart from Thomas Wright who assigned a structural role to the Milky Way may be Plato. Some scholars believe that the spindle in his “Myth of Er” (Republic, Book X. Jowett: 1:874) represented the Milky Way, on which the whorl of our planetary system rotated. In that analogy, the Milky Way is a “line of light, straight as a column, extending right through the whole heaven… this light is the belt of heaven, and holds together the circle of the universe, like the under-girders of a trireme.” This line of light is described as a spindle that pierces the center of the whorl. The whorl is comprised of nested whorls, “like vessels which fit into one another.” The outermost, or largest, is “spangled,” representing the hemisphere of the starry sky; within it are the whorls of the planets. Plato seems to suggest that the ends of the Milky Way extend considerably beyond the hemisphere of the stars. (Purves, John. Selections from the Dialogues of Plato, with preface by Jowett. Oxford: Clarendon, 1883. Agrees that Plato’s spindle represents the Milky Way; Jowett, Benjamin. Republic of Plato translated into English. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Disagrees that Plato’s spindle represents the Milky Way.)

Hevelius 1690

Back to catalog entry Hevelius1690 Edmond Halley sailed to St. Helena… to record the positions of over 300 stars: Cook, Alan. Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas. Oxford: Clarendon 224


Press, 1998. 65-79. Hevelius included Halley’s stars in this atlas: “Hevelius used Halley’s chart as the basis for his own southern map.” Ashworth, William B. “Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas” Linda Hall Library. 2007. Web. 2009. http://www.lindahall.org/events_exhib/exhibit/exhibits/stars/hev.htm The atlas is catalog entry 22 in this online exhibit. Halley’s catalog of the southern stars: Halley, Edmond. Catalogus stellarum australium. 1679. Facsimile online. Internet Archives. Web. 2009. Note: Halley recorded several star positions in Argo and Canis Major in relation to the “heart of the serpent” and Sirius (the nose of the dog). 21-24. http://www.archive.org/stream/catalogusstella00hallgoog#page/n21/mode/2up On Halley’s discovery of the proper motion of stars: Cook, Alan. Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. 348-349. Halley, Edmond. “Considerations on the Change of the Latitudes of Some of the Principal Fixt Stars.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 1718. 30.355.736-738. Thomas Wright quoted Halley’s article: Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe. 1750. Facsimile reprint. Ed. Michael A. Hoskin. London: Macdonald and Co., 1971: 5354. [quote lacks closing quotation marks, near bottom of p. 54].

Kant 1798

Back to catalog entry Kant1798 Kant credited Thomas Wright for providing some ideas for his cosmology: Kant, Immanuel. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. Trans. Stanley L. Jaki. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1981. 30-31 (Jaki’s introd.); 88-90 (Kant).

225


Wright seemed unaware of the limitations that gravity would place: Wright: “But we are not confined by this Theory to this form only; there may be various systems of stars… it is not at all necessary, that every collective body of stars should move in the same direction, or after the same model of motion, but may as reasonably be supposed as much to vary… Hence we may imagine some Creations of stars may move in the direction of perfect spheres, all variously inclined, direct and retrograde [this could not happen]; others again, as the primary planets do, in a general zone or zodiac, or more properly in the manner of Saturn’s rings” *this follows Newton’s laws+.

Flammarion 1888

Back to catalog entry Flammarion1888 Note: this popular image is often described as a Renaissance woodcut, but it first appeared in, and was drawn especially for, this 1888 edition of Flammarion. The text that it illustrates, describing the history of the stellar crystalline sphere, is as delightful as the image. Magruder, Kerry. Home page. “Is This a Medieval Flat-Earth Woodcut?” 2003. Web. 2009. (Includes English translation not only of the caption, but of the entire passage). http://homepage.mac.com/kvmagruder/flatEarth/ Pre-Raphaelite: Note: This nineteenth-century art movement was characterized by an interest in art of the fifteenth century. Since the image is not a Renaissance image, was made in the nineteenth century, and could be interpreted as representing the style, it may be best described as belonging to or influenced by this movement. Origin of image: Flammarion woodcut. Wikipedia. N.p. n.d. Web. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flammarion_woodcut Note: this source notes that the anonymous, unsigned image could have been drawn by Flammarion himself, who was trained in engraving. This seems likely, as the image does not seem to be in the particular style of any other artist of the period. Quill pens are drawn in the frame of the image, and are also found in the frame of Walter Crane’s bookplate (The Denis Gouey Bookbinding Studio. N.d. Web. 2009. http://bookbinding.com/book-cover-design/bookplates) but the 226


Flammarion image does not particularly look like Crane’s work. Ezekiel’s Vision: The wheel-within-a-wheel is the tipoff. An especially good collection of images of this theme: Pitts Theology Library. Digital Image Archive. N.d. Web. 2009. http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/listform.cfm Note: for example, see no.1557BiblV2.Pagnini, Sante: http://www.pitts.emory.edu/woodcuts/1557BiblV2/00009041.jpg

Section 10: The First Map of the Galaxy Bode 1782

Back to catalog entry Bode1782

Forbes, Eric G. Tobias Mayer’s Opera Inedita: the first translation of the Lichtenberg edition of 1775. NY: Macmillan, 1971. 110-112.

Herschel 1783

Back to catalog entry Herschel1783 Herschel, William. “On the Proper Motion of the Sun and Solar System.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 73:247-283 (January 1, 1783).

Herschel 1785

Back to catalog entry Herschel, William. “On the Construction of the Heavens.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 75:213-266 (January 1, 1785). Note: between his 1783 and 1785 papers, Herschel published another paper in the Philosophical Transactions entitled “Account of some Observations tending to investigate the Construction of the Heavens.” (January 1, 1784 74:437-451; Included in Hoskin, Michael. William Herschel and the Construction of the Heavens. London: Oldbourne, 1963. 71-82; plate 3 caption mentions Wright). A close reading of the description of the Milky Way in this article, read alongside Thomas Wright’s, reveals some paraphrasing by Herschel of Wright’s work. (Herschel’s article p. 76 in Hoskin; pp. 443-444 in 227


Phil. Trans.; compare to pp. 62-63 in Wright’s Original Theory). Leila Belkora notes that Herschel owned a copy of Wright’s Original Theory, annotated in Herschel’s hand. Belkora, Leila. Minding the Heavens. Bristol: Institute of Physics. 2003. 100.)

Nebulae as the original impetus in making the 1783 star sweeps: Sidgwick, John B. William Herschel: Explorer of the Heavens. London: Faber and Faber, 1953. 116. Herschel’s introduction of his star gaging technique: Hoskin, Michael A. William Herschel and the Construction of the Heavens. London: Oldbourne, 1963. 77. On Herschel’s assumptions, map, and approach to observing: Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe : the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. 131-135.

Johnston 1855

Back to catalog entry Johnston1855

On Herschel and double stars: Sidgwick, John B. William Herschel: Explorer of the Heavens. London: Faber and Faber, 1953. 178-180.

Mitchel 1861

Back to catalog entry Mitchel1861

On the extent of Herschel’s galaxy: Hoskin, Michael. William Herschel and the Construction of the Heavens. London: Oldbourne, 1963. 169.

Smyth 1844

Back to catalog entry Smyth1844 Shapley’s 1918 galactic cluster study showed that our sun is not near the center of the galaxy:

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Longair, M.S. The Cosmic Century: a History of Astrophysics and Cosmology. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006. 83. Lindblad demonstrated in 1925 that the sun orbits the galaxy: “Bertil Lindblad.” Obituary notices. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 7. (1966): 332.

Coda Back to catalog entry Coda Multiple galaxies: “But we are not confined by this Theory to this form *i.e. these forms: the ring-shaped or spherical] only; there may be various systems of stars [Wright did not seem to particularly care what forms they may take; his key idea was that they orbited together around a central point+… it is not at all necessary, that every collective body of stars should move in the same direction, or after the same model of motion, but may reasonably be supposed as much to vary… Hence we may imagine some Creations of stars may move in the direction of perfect spheres… others again, as the primary planets do, in a general zone or zodiac, or more properly in the manner of Saturn’s rings.” Note: Wright states in the text that “Creations of stars,” or galaxies, may take diverse shapes, but he includes more illustrations of spherical galaxies. (Wright. 65.) “As the visible Creation is supposed to be full of sidereal systems and planetary worlds, so on, in like similar manner, the endless immensity is an unlimited plenum of Creations… see plate XXXI… plate XXXII represents their sections.” (Wright. 83.) “That this in all probability may be the real case, is in some degree made evident by the many cloudy spots, just perceivable by us, as far without our starry regions, in which tho’ visibly luminous spaces, no one star or particular constituent body can possibly be distinguished; those in all likelyhood may be external Creation, bordering upon the known one, too remote for even our telescopes to reach.” (Wright. 83.)

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Philosophy. London: Reidel, 1983. Dick, Steven J. Plurality of Worlds. Cambridge University Press, 1982. Donahue, William H. The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres 1595-1650. New York: Arno Press, 1981. Donahue, William H. Johannes Kepler: New Astronomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Flammarion woodcut. Wikipedia. N.p. n.d. Web. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flammarion_woodcut Fletcher, John E. “Astronomy in the Life and Correspondence of Athanasius Kircher.” Isis 61.1. 206 (1970): 52-53. Forbes, Eric G. Tobias Mayer’s Opera Inedita: the first translation of the Lichtenberg edition of 1775. NY: Macmillan, 1971. 110-112. Fowler, Michael. “Speed of Light.” UVA Physics Department. N.d. Web. 2009. http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/spedlite.html French, Peter T. John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan Magus. NY: Routledge, 1972 (reprinted 2002). 46. Frommert, Hartmut . “Early variable star discoverers.” Spider’s Homepage. SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). 1995. Web. 2009. http://seds.org/~spider/spider/Vars/Add/var-dis.html Galileo. Sidereus nuncius. 1610. Trans. Stillman Drake. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. NY: Doubleday, 1957.) Gatti, Hilary. Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. Gent, Robert Harry van. The finest atlas of the heavens. [Harmonia macrocosmica of 1660; Facsimile with introduction]. Hong Kong; Los Angeles: Taschen, 2006. 9; 239. 232


Gilbert, William. On the Loadstone. Trans. P. Fleury Mottelay. Baltimore: Peabody Institute Library, 1892 [reprinted 1938]. Gilbert William. On the Magnet by William Gilbert. Trans. Silvanus Phillips Thompson (Reprint of Thompson’s translation published in 1900). New York: Basic Books, 1958. Gill, David, Sir. “Heliometer.” 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. (author identified in print ed.). http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Heliometer Gingerich, Owen. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993. Gingerich, Owen. “Johannes Kepler.” Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics. Ed. Rene Taton and Curtis Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Gingerich, Owen. “Sacrobosco Illustrated.” Between Demonstration and Imagination: Essays in the History of Science and Philosophy Presented to John D. North. Ed. Lodi Nauta and Arjo Banderjagt. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, 1999. Ginzburg, Vladimir B. Prime elements of ordinary matter. Boca Raton: Universal Publishers, 2007 (2nd ed.) 24-27. Glass, Bentley. “Maupertuis, Pierre Louis Moreau De.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. NY: Scribner’s, 1974. Godwin, Joscelyn. Robert Fludd: Hermetic philosopher and surveyor of two worlds. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979. Goldstein, Bernard R. “The Arabic version of Ptolemy’s Planetary Hypothesis.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 2nd ser. 57. 4 (1967): 3-12. Grant, Edward. Planets, Stars, and Orbs: the Medieval Cosmos 1200-1687. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Grant, Robert. History of Physical Astronomy. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1852.

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Hoskin, Michael A. William Herschel and the Construction of the Heavens. London: Oldbourne, 1963. Huygens, Christian. The Celestial Worlds Discover’d. London: Frank Cass and Co., 1968. (Facsimile reproduction). Jaki, Stanley L. Trans. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. By Immanuel Kant. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1981. 22 (Introduction). Johnson, Francis R. “The Influence of Thomas Digges on the Progress of Modern Astronomy in XVIth century England.” Osiris 1 (1936). Jowett, Benjamin. Republic of Plato translated into English. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Kanas, Nick. Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2007. Kant, Immanuel. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. Trans. Stanley L. Jaki. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1981. 30-31 (Jaki’s introd.); 88-90 (Kant). Kelly, Sister Suzanne. The De Mundo of William Gilbert. Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger & Co., 1965. Koyré, Alexandre. From the closed world to the infinite universe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1957. 55-57. Lattis, James M. Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. “Bertil Lindblad.” Obituary notices. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 7. (1966): 332. Longair, M.S. The Cosmic Century: a History of Astrophysics and Cosmology. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006. 83. Lucretius. De Rerum Natura 2.1069 Trans. Ronald Latham. On the Nature of the Universe. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1951. 91. 235


Magruder, Kerry V. “The idiom of a six day creation and global depictions in Theories of the Earth.” Geology and Religion. Ed. Martina Kolbl-Ebert. London: Geological Society, 2009. Magruder, Kerry V. Home page. “Is This a Medieval Flat-Earth Woodcut?” 2003. Web. 2009. (Includes English translation not only of the caption, but of the entire passage). http://homepage.mac.com/kvmagruder/flatEarth/ Magruder, Kerry V. “Jesuit Science After Galileo: the Cosmology of Gabriele Beati.” Centaurus 51. 3 (August 2009). Moesgaard, Kristian Peder. “How Copernicanism took root in Denmark and Norway.” The Reception of Copernicus’ Heliocentric Theory. Jerzy Dobrzycki. Ed. Dordrecht-Holland: D. Reidel, 1972-73. 142. Munitz, Milton. Ed. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. By Immanuel Kant. Trans. W. Hastie. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969. xiv-xviii (Introduction). Neilson, Axel V. “Ole Roemer and his Meridian Circle.” Vistas in Astronomy. Beer. Ed. London: Pergamon Press, 1968. Vol. 10. 105-112. Nelson, Richard. Ed. “Principle of Least Action: Maupertuis.” Cambridge Forecast Group. 2006. Web. 2009. Newton. Letter to Richard Bentley. MS. Newton Project. University of Sussex. [n.d.] Web. 2009. http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk Newton. Principia (General Scholium). Trans. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman. Isaac Newton. The Principia. University of California Press, 1999. 941-942. O'Connor, J. J. and E. F. Robertson. Georg Peurbach. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. August 2006. Web. 2009. http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Biographies/Peurbach.html O’Connor, J. J. and E.F. Robertson. Oronce Fine. School of Mathematics and 236


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Sidgwick, John B. William Herschel: Explorer of the Heavens. London: Faber and Faber, 1953. Taton, Rene and Curtis Wilson. Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics. Cambridge University Press, 1989. Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimental Science. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941. 8 vols. Toomer, G. J., transl. Ptolemy’s Almagest. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984. Van Helden, Albert. Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. Van Helden, Albert. “Guericke, Otto von.” Galileo Project. Rice University. 1995. Web. 2009. http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/guericke.html Van Nouhuys, Tabbitta. The age of two-faced Janus: the Comets of 1577 and 1618. Leiden: Brill, 1998. 85. Web (Google Books). Volk, O. “Remarks about the History of Celestial Mechanics.” Celestial Mechanics 2. 3 (1970): 431. Webb, Stephen. Measuring the Universe: the Cosmological Distance Ladder. Chichester UK: Praxis Publishing, 1999. Whitrow, G.J. “Kant and the Extragalactic Nebulae.” Colloquium on Historical Aspects of Astronomy. University of Exeter, 1966. 50-55. Wright, Thomas. An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe. 1750. Facsimile reprint. Ed. Michael A. Hoskin. London: Macdonald and Co., 1971. Yates, Frances A. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. Youschkevitch, A. P. “Euler, Leonhard.” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.

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About the Exhibit This exhibition was made possible by generous support from Mr. & Mrs. James B. Hebenstreit and Mrs. Lathrop M. Gates.

Thinking Outside the Sphere at the Linda Hall Library Exhibition Credits This ecatalog was written and prepared by Cynthia J. Rogers, Curator. Exhibit advisors were William B. Ashworth, Jr. and Bruce Bradley. The exhibit was prepared and installed at the Linda Hall Library by Bruce Bradley and Nancy Officer. Graphic elements for the exhibit web site, the exhibition panels, the Gallery Guide and other print materials were designed by Nancy V. Green with Jon Rollins. Images for the exhibition were digitized by Nancy V. Green, Jon Rollins, and Sally Crosson of the Digital Projects Department.

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Aegidius Strauch. Astrognosia, 1659.

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Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology 5109 Cherry Street Kansas City, MO 64110 www.lindahall.org

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Thinking Outside the Sphere  

Catalog of an exhibition of rare books from the Linda Hall Library

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