Category Archives: astronomy

What Kepler and Newton really did.

This has been a good week for people getting the history of astronomy in the seventeenth century wrong. [to find out what they got wrong go here]

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The pocket diary: A great Renaissance invention

The other day Kate Morant, author of the interesting Halley’s Log Blog, tweeted the following question on my twitter stream: Help! My iPhone diary’s become corrupted. By month ok, but by list all the apptmts randomly reassigned to diff dates. Any … Continue reading

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The Tycho Myth

The last couple of days have seen two astronomical anniversaries associated with the great Danish observational astronomer Tycho Brahe. Tycho first observed the super nova of 1572 from Herrevad Abbey in Southern Sweden on 11th November and five years later he … Continue reading

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Dear Stu, you might be a good novelist but you’re a lousy historian.

The latest Guardian science blog by Stuart Clark contains a piece of history of science stupidity that can only be explained by assuming that he hit the Kool Aid before putting finger to keyboard. [curious?]

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The other professor of mathematics at Wittenberg

Anybody who knows a bit about the history of astronomy in the early modern period or who has wasted their time and money reading Dava Sobel’s lasted perversion of the history of science will know that Copernicus was finally persuaded to publish … Continue reading

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An Italo-Chinese Jesuit

The first history of science post that I wrote for The Renaissance Mathematicus was about the Jesuit mathematicus and educational reformer Christoph Clavius and his introduction of the mathematical sciences into the curricula of the European Catholic schools, colleges and universities at … Continue reading

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The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.

Having recently mostly blogged about bad popular history of science and questions of historiography and methodology I thought it was time to return to writing about some real history of science. Back in 2010, I blogged about the fact that there … Continue reading

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Dava Sobel tries her hand at historical fantasy.

Dava Sobel’s Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is almost certainly the most successful popular history of science book published in the last fifty years. This is to some extent understandable … Continue reading

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Refusing to look.

One of the standard stories that gets wheeled out every time that some ahistorical fan of Galileo wishes to prove that the rejection of the heliocentric hypothesis at the beginning of the seventeenth century was purely based on dogmatic religious … Continue reading

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A tale of a telescope

In this month’s Journal for the History of Astronomy I have a book review of Richard Gillespie’s The Great Melbourne Telescope – a book I enjoyed reading and a review I enjoyed writing. Hop over to teleskopos to read it.

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