Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction by Olaf Pedersen

By Olaf Pedersen

The e-book is an introductory exposition of the improvement of the actual and astronomical notions of the universe. It covers the interval from Greek antiquity to the Copernican revolution and the Renaissance, half the textual content being dedicated to medieval technology inside of either the Aristotelian and the Archimedean traditions. The publication is meant for a normal viewers drawn to highbrow and clinical advancements, yet must also be important as a advisor to extra stories. therefore it has an intensive bibliography classifying a lot of the secondary literature at the topic, and in addition a sixty web page 'dictionary' of all of the scientists and philosophers pointed out within the textual content. This comprises references to revealed versions of the resources and to a variety of books and periodicals.

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London, 15 5 9 . 92 Books IX to X I give the theories o f the longitudes o f the five planets— Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In each case a geometrical model is proposed, its parameters determined from observations, and the model tested against other observations. The problem is to determine the longitude A(l) at a given time t from the mean longitude A„,(f), taking both the first and second anomalies into account. This is done by a model which is essentially the same in the case o f the three superior planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

T he F ixed Stars and Precession In Book V II and Book VIII o f the Almagest Ptolemy gives a catalogue o f the longitude, latitude, and magnitude o f 1022 fixed stars, based on an earlier list ( no longer extant) drawn up by Hipparchos, There is also a chapter on precession (see p. 56), which is conceived o f as a uniform rotation o f the sphere o f the fixed stars eastwards relative to the ecliptic at a rate o f 1° in 100 years, or 36" per year. The Superior Planets F ig. 16 . Ptolem y’s parallactic ruler f o r measuring zen ith distances show ing ’ K in g ’ Ptolem y w ith a crown on his head— in mediaeval times the A lexandrian astronomer was identified with an earlier Egyptian king o f the same name.

1. T h e motions o f M ars and Jupiter relative to the Earth during the years 1 7 0 8 -1 0 (M ars) and 170 8 -2 0 (Jupiter). T h e two geocentric orbits exh ibit the varying distances o f the planets from the Earth and the characteristic loops around the points o f minimum distance (From R oger Lon g, Astronom y, Cambridge 174 2). 2 < s •S c S s ^ s JO ^ C«O(5 *o 52 r. Fourthly, while, by definition, the Sun moves on the ecliptic, the path o f the Moon and any other planet deviate a little from it, causing the latitude o f the planet to vary between a northern maximum and a southern minimum o f the same numerical value.

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