Pioneers of Progress
Men of Science Edited by S. Chapman, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.
by WALTER W. BRYANT of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
I. Astronomy Before Kepler
II. Early Life of Kepler
III. Tycho Brahe
IV. Kepler Joins Tycho
V. Kepler's Laws
VI. Closing Years
Appendix I. List of Dates
Appendix II. Bibliography
ASTRONOMY BEFORE KEPLER.
In order to emphasise the importance of the reforms introduced into astronomy by Kepler, it will be well to sketch briefly the history of the theories which he had to overthrow. In very early times it must have been realised that the sun and moon were continually changing their places among the stars. The day, the month, and the year were obvious divisions of time, and longer periods were suggested by the tabulation of eclipses. We can imagine the respect accorded to the Chaldaean sages who first discovered that eclipses could be predicted, and how the philosophers of Mesopotamia must have sought eagerly for evidence of fresh periodic laws... Continue reading book >>
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