Category Archives: astronomy

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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Acceptance, rejection and indifference to heliocentricity before 1610.

Johannes Petreius published Copernicus’ De revolutionibus in 1543 how was this major new cosmological and astronomical work with its heliocentric hypothesis actually received in the first approximately seventy years after it appearance?  Michael Fugate and others continue to enquire about or insist … Continue reading

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The Earth-like Mars

Mars – a distant, extraterrestrial world, but it shares some surprising similarities with Earth. The rotation period is almost the same with 24 hours, 39 minutes and 21,67 seconds (as measured by astronomer William Herschel in 1777-1783), the planet possess … Continue reading

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We live in a geocentric world!

Whenever I mention geocentrism in a blog post one or other of my commentators of the anti-religious persuasion comes along and tries to claim that the reasons for the acceptance of geocentric cosmology were mostly, largely or totally religious and … Continue reading

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More than transitory interest: an instrument of note

Slightly belatedly, here’s a cross-posting of my last post on the Longitude Project blog, which takes a closer look at a significant astronomical relic: A lesson quickly learned in the world of museum collections and displays – perhaps especially in … Continue reading

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