online exhibition

rare book library



cosmology & astronomy

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Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)
Tabulae Rudolphinae, quibus astronomicae scientiae, temporum longinquitate collapsae restauratio continetur.
Ulmae : Typis J. Saurii, 1627-[1630].

Image of Kepler's Tabulae Rudolphinae

The Rudolphine Tables is a monumental work in which the great astronomer Kepler provided the data by which the positions of the planets could be computed. It was the first book to require the use of logarithms which had recently been invented by John Napier. Kepler's tables were about 30 times better than any previous ones and were the primary source of recognition for his work in astronomy in the decades following their publication. He used the tables to predict a transit of Mercury which was observed by Pierre Gassendi in 1631. This successful observation added weight to the case for Copernicanism. See Gassendi's Institutio astronomica, also in this exhibition.

Image 2 of Kepler's Tabulae Rudolphinae

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