On Sunspots

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Overview

Galileo's telescopic discoveries, and especially his observation of sunspots, caused great debate in an age when the heavens were thought by most to be perfect and unchanging. Christoph Scheiner, a Jesuit mathematician, argued that sunspots were satellites of the Sun crossing in front of it. Galileo, on the other hand, countered that the spots were on or near the surface of the Sun itself, and he supported his position with a series of meticulous observations and mathematical demonstrations that eventually convinced even his rival.

On Sunspots collects the correspondence that constituted the public debate, including the first English translation of Scheiner's two tracts as well as Galileo's three letters, which previously have been published in English only in abridged form. In addition, Eileen Reeves and Albert Van Helden have supplemented the correspondence with informative introductions, extensive notes, and a bibliography. This book will be the standard work on the subject, essential for students and historians of astronomy, the telescope, and early modern religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
[This volume] will be essential to historians interested in the development and use of the telescope and in religion of that period. Highly recommended.

— M. K. Hemenway

Choice - M. K. Hemenway

“[This volume] will be essential to historians interested in the development and use of the telescope and in religion of that period. Highly recommended.”

Maurice Finocchiaro

“This is an excellent addition to the literature on Galileo and, more generally, on the Copernican Revolution. It makes available important works that are relatively inaccessible in their original edition and have never been fully translated into English.”

Nick Wilding

“This translation is both timely and commendable. Until now, English-speaking students of Galileo and Scheiner have been poorly served. For the first time, readers have access to both sides of this important debate in the same language. This will be an essential text.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226707167
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2010
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Reeves is professor of comparative literature at Princeton University. Albert Van Helden is professor of the history of science at the University of Utrecht and the translator of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviations vii

Preface ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Sunspots before the telescope 9

3 Turning the telescope to the Sun: Thomas Harriot and Johannes and David Fabricius 25

4 Christoph Scheiner 37

5 Tres Epistolae 59

6 Galileo answers Apelles 75

7 Galileo's first letter 87

8 Galileo's second letter 107

9 A more accurate inquiry from Ingolstadt 171

10 Accuratior Disquisitio 183

11 Galileo responds and goes into print 233

12 Galileo's third letter 251

13 Rematch, 1630-1632 307

Appendixes

1 Scheiner and Galileo on the nature of the Moon 331

2 Galileo to Maffeo Cardinal Barberini 337

3 Carlo Cardinal Conti to Galileo on Scripture 349

4 Scheiner's calculation of the transit of Venus 353

5 Galileo's demonstrations 357

6 Front matter of Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti 371

Bibliography 381

Index 401

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    A friend

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    To all here

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    Sunwing

    Alright. Whatever you think, Snow.

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    Goldkit

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    Lunarkit

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    Minty

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