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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

cosmology & astronomy

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Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)
Astronomia nova … seu, Physica coelestis, tradita commentariis De motibus stellae martis, ex observationibus G.V. Tychonis Brahe.
Pragae : 1609.

Image from Kepler's Astronomia nova

This is Kepler's most important work in astronomy. Focussing on the orbit of Mars, Kepler in this work abandoned the circle which had dominated accounts of planetary motions from the time of Aristotle and Ptolemy. Through the use of Tycho Brahé's superior planetary tables, Kepler realised that the orbit of Mars fitted the shape of an ellipse. He went on in this work to formulate two of his three laws of planetary motions, including the law that all planets move in elliptical orbits. The Astronomia nova is also unique in that it is prefaced with a short intellectual autobiography.

Another image from Kepler's Astronomia nova
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