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HIS1: Kepler and his discoveries

Session Organiser: 

A E L Davis (Imperial College, London, UK); Chair: T J Mahoney


Two professional historians will present accounts of what astronomy was like in Kepler's time (1571-1630). In his day most people still believed that the universe (the solar system) was geocentric, and Kepler set out one of his most cogent arguments for heliocentricity by describing what astronomy would have been like if viewed from a satellite (a word he invented) - that is, from the Moon. Thus one of the talks will discuss Kepler's lunar astronomy; the other will explain how Kepler's laws were discovered. Using only the straightedge and compasses permitted by Euclid, Kepler was able to construct an unknown curve to fit the observations, and finally to give exact geometrical proofs that that curve was an ellipse, and that time was measured by area.

Posters contributed by student, or young graduate, historians of astronomy will be most welcome.


This is a complete listing of all 3 entries

Tuesday 27th 17:00-18:15
17:00 Chair's report on the work and future of the IAU's Johannes Kepler working group (JKWG)  T. J. Mahoney
17:10 Kepler's Laws: A Celestial Detective Story  AEL DAVIS
17:45 Kepler’s Lunar Astronomy: putting his Somnium into historical context.  Dr Stephen Pumfrey