History of the Planetary Systems from Thales to Kepler

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Cosimo, Inc., 2007 M05 1 - 436 pages
"More than a century after its first publication in English, J.L.E. Dreyers classic work remains a helpful and readable introduction to historical astronomy. Beginning with mankinds first attempts to understand its place in the universe and continuing through the age of Isaac Newton, Dreyer rectifies errors and sets the historical record straight, connecting modern astronomers to those who laid the groundwork before them. A History of the Planetary Systems from Thales to Kepler covers: the earliest cosmological Ideas the Pythagorean school Plato and Aristotle the Ptolemaic system Oriental astronomers and the revival of astronomy in Europe Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler and much more. Danish astronomer and a historian of astronomy JOHAN LUDWIG EMIL DREYER (18521926) also wrote a history of the Royal Astronomical Society and a biography of astronomer Tyco Brahe."

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Page 137 - ... unmoved, that the earth revolves about the sun in the circumference of a circle, the sun lying in the middle of the orbit, and that the sphere of the fixed stars, situated about the same centre as the sun, is so great that the circle in which he supposes the earth to revolve bears such a proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the centre of the sphere bears to its surface.
Page 3 - He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory : for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.
Page 174 - Gyrene and studied at Alexandria and Athens, so that he had already acquired a name for learning, when he (about 235) was called to Alexandria, where he spent the rest of his life. He was a man of unusually varied attainments, but it is chiefly as a geographer that he is known to us, though only through the (often hostile) references to him in the works of Strabo and others1. He seems in addition to his great work on geography to have written a special book on his determination of the size of the...
Page 311 - I also began to think of a motion of the earth, and although the idea seemed absurd, still, as others before me had been permitted to assume certain circles in order to explain the motions of the stars, I believed it would readily be permitted me to try whether on the assumption of some motion of the earth better explanations of the revolutions of the heavenly spheres might not be found.
Page 131 - In general it is not the astronomer's business to see what by its nature is immovable and of what kind the moved things are, but framing hypotheses as to some things being in motion and others being fixed, he considers which hypotheses are in conformity with the phenomena in the heavens. He must accept as his principles from the physicist, that the motions of the stars are simple, 1 Simplicii in Aristot.
Page 328 - But in the midst of all stands the sun. For who could in this most beautiful temple place this lamp in another or better place than that from which it can at the same time illuminate the whole? Which some not unsuitably call the light of the world, others the soul or the ruler. Trismegistus calls it the visible God, the Electra of Sophocles the all-seeing. So indeed the sun, sitting on the royal throne, steers the revolving family of stars.' The consequences of Copernicus' postulates were of two...
Page 243 - PRIT'HUDACA, either correcting his quotations, or vindicating the doctrine of the earlier author), it appears that ARYABHAff A affirmed the diurnal revolution of the earth on its axis, and that he accounted for it by a wind or current of aerial fluid, the extent of which, according to the orbit assigned to it by him, corresponds to an elevation of little more than a hundred miles from the surface of the earth...
Page 312 - ... and are computed for the revolution of each star, not only do the phenomena 1 See above, Chapters n. and vi. necessarily follow therefrom, but the order and magnitude of the stars and all their orbs and the heaven itself are so connected that in no part can anything be transposed without confusion to the rest and to the whole universe." According to this statement, Copernicus first noticed how great was the difference of opinion among learned men as to the planetary motions ; next he noticed...
Page 138 - ... to its discussion, and the fact, that his book on the distance of the sun does not contain anything on the subject, tends to confirm this impression. We possess only two other very brief references to the hypothesis by other writers. The first of these is in Plutarch's book On the face in the disc of the Moon ( 6). One of the persons in the dialogue, being called to account for turning the world upside down, says that he is quite content so long as he is not accused of impiety, " like as Kleanthes...

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