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Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World

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ISBN-10: 1573920363

ISBN-13: 9781573920360

Edition: Unabridged 

Authors: Johannes Kepler, Charles Glenn Wallis

List price: $14.99
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Description:

The brilliant German mathematician Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), one of the founders of modern astronomy, revolutionized the Copernican heliocentric theory of the universe with his three laws of motion: that the planets move not in circular but elliptical orbits, that their speed is greatest when nearest the sun, and that the sun and planets form an integrated system. This volume contains two of his most important works: The Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (books 4 and 5 of which are translated here) is a textbook of Copernican science, remarkable for the prominence given to physical astronomy and for the extension to the Jovian system of the laws recently discovered to regulate the motions of the Planets. Harmonies of the World (book 5 of which is translated here) expounds an elaborate system of celestial harmonies depending on the varying velocities of the planets.
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Book details

List price: $14.99
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 11/1/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 254
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Born in Wurttemburg, Germany, Johannes Kepler was the son of a soldier of fortune who eventually deserted his family. Kepler is widely known for his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler began to think about astronomy and planetary motion as a schoolteacher in Graz, Austria and published his first work, Mysterium Cosmographicum, in 1596. He became an apprentice to Tcho Brahe, whose collection of astronomical observations was the best of its kind. Kepler's work on Mars, in which he tried to fit a theory to the observations, led to his discovery that planetary motion is elliptical rather than circular. Kepler's life was somewhat chaotic as a result of the repeated harassment of Protestant teachers in predominantly Catholic Austria. Some of his ideas about cosmic harmonies, such as the theory that the spacing of planetary orbits is related to the five regular polyhedrons, were incorrect. Yet his basic approach of seeking a broad sense of order and harmony in the world led to the discovery of mathematical regularities involved in planetary motion, and ultimately, to the elegance of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion. Kepler's Somnium, a fictional account of a voyage to the moon, is cited by historians of rocketry as an early work of science fiction that might have stimulated interest in space travel.