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Vistas in Astronomy, 1976, Vol. 20, pp. 11-15. Pergamon Press.

Printed in Great Britain


S E S S I ON 2- T HE R OYAL OB S E R VAT OR Y GR E E NWI C H : S E T T I NG T HE S C E NE
2. SOME ASPECTS OF POST- RENAI SSANCE ASTRONOMY
WILLIAM R. SHEA
McGill University, Montreal
In 1610, Gal i l eo publ i shed his Sidereus Nuncius in whi ch he reveal ed t he exi st ence of unknown stars,
t he nat ur e of t he Mi l ky Way, t he rugged sur f ace of t he Moon, and t he pr esence of sat el l i t es ar ound
Jupi t er . The st r i ki ng si mi l ari t i es bet ween t he Moon and t he Ear t h made t he al r eady dubi ous di vi si on
bet ween t he s ubl unar y and t he cel est i al wor l ds even less pl ausi bl e, and t he f act t hat J upi t er coul d
or bi t wi t h a t r ai n of f our sat el l i t es pr ovi ded Gal i l eo wi t h a r epl y t o t hose who asked how t he Ear t h
coul d rush t hr ough space wi t hout l osi ng its Moon. The t el escope cont i nued t o bear wi t ness t o t he
t r ut h of Coper ni cus' vision, and wi t hi n a few mont hs Gal i l eo was abl e t o announce t hat Venus had
phases, and t hat t he var i at i ons of t he appar ent di amet er s of Mars and Venus were in agr eement wi t h
t he hel i ocent r i c t heor y. By t he end of 1610, t he Coper ni can hypot hes i s had crossed t he t hr es hol d of
r espect abi l i t y. Even Clavius, t he schol ar l y and pr ude nt as t r onomer of t he Col l egi o Roma no went so
far as t o c omme nd Gal i l eo' s di scoveri es in no uncer t ai n t erms. 1
But t he bat t l e was by no means won. A mer e l ooki ng-gl ass coul d not di spel a t heor y a bout t he
st r uct ur e of t he wor l d. The Ar i s t ot el i ans f el t t hat Gal i l eo woul d have t o f ocus t he eye of his mi nd
on t he real pr obl ems bef or e he coul d per suade t hem t o al t er t hei r convi ct i ons a bout t he nat ur e of t he
universe.
Fr ances co Sizzi, a Fl or ent i ne who was l at er t o ant i ci pat e Gal i l eo' s di scover y t hat t he pat h of
t he sunspot s is obl i que, wr ot e a s t r ongl y- wor ded t r act in whi ch he poi nt e d out t he mani f est i ncon-
veni ences of i ncreasi ng t he number of pl anet s f r om seven t o el even by t he addi t i on of t he f our al l eged
sat el l i t es of J upi t er . He of f er ed a var i et y of ar gument s, dr awn f r om t he mi cr ocos m- macr ocos m
anal ogy, of whi ch t he f ol l owi ng is per haps t he mos t cogent : si nce we have seven openi ngs in our head
( t wo eyes, t wo ears, t wo nost ri l s and one mout h) i t is t her ef or e " na t ur a l " t hat t her e shoul d be onl y
seven pl anet s in t he face of t he heavens. 2
Si zzi was not t aken t oo ser i ousl y even in his own day, but his pr eoccupat i on wi t h t he number
of pl anet s is s ympt oma t i c of his age and was shar ed by mor e pr omi ne nt figures of t he Sci ent i f i c
Revol ut i on. The young Kepl er i ncessant l y asked hi msel f, "Why six pl anet s ?" and we know t hat he
never a ba ndone d t he Pyt hagor ean sol ut i on based on t he f our regul ar sol i ds t hat he f i r st advocat ed in
his Mysterium Cosmographicum of 1597.
Some 200 year s l at er, when t he pl anet s had, wi t h t he addi t i on of Uranus, gr own t o seven, an
i nt er est in t hei r number s waxed again. What spar ked t he revival was Bode' s Law, a numer i cal series
t hat begi ns wi t h f our and t hen i ncreases st ep by st ep accor di ng t o a si mpl e rul e in such a way t hat
t he number s coi nci de ver y cl osel y wi t h t he di st ances of t he pl anet s f r om t he Sun. When Uranus was
di scover ed i t was f ound t o f i t t hi s l aw and hence vast l y i ncreased i t s pl ausi bi l i t y. But Bode' s Law
also gave a val ue f or a pl anet ar y or bi t bet ween Mars and Jupi t er , and on t he Cont i ne nt Ger man ast r o-
nomer s banded t hemsel ves i nt o gr oups t o hunt f or t he mi ssi ng pl anet much t o t he di s may of t he
emi nent phi l os opher , G. W. F. Hegel, who f el t t hat t he sequence in Bode' s Law was pur el y acci dent al
and di d not war r ant such a f l ur r y of sci ent i fi c act i vi t y, Hegel does not act ual l y say t hat he was wor r i ed
a bout t he t axpayer s ' or t he pat r ons ' money, but t her e can be no doubt t hat he bel i eved in t he
r at i onal i zat i on of research and t hat he wi shed t hat pr eci ous obser vat i on t i me shoul d not be wast ed.
Scanni ng t he sky f or a pl anet whose exi st ence was sur mi sed f r om Bode' s Law appear ed t o Hegel t o be
an act of i nt el l ect ual and admi ni st r at i ve i r r esponsi bi l i t y. A l i t t l e s ound reasoni ng, he ar gued in his
Habilitationsschrift of 1801, woul d show t hat t he seven known pl anet s are sui t abl y spaced and t hat
11
12 WI LLI AM R. SHEA
t her e is no gap cr yi ng out t o be fi l l ed bet ween Mars and Jupi t er . Li ke Kepl er he f ound his sol ut i on in
Pl at o but t hi s t i me in t he so-cal l ed Pyt hagor ean series r at her t han in t he regul ar solids. Thi s series
(1, 2, 3, 4, (22), 9 (32), 8 (23), 27 (33) not onl y conveni ent l y l i mi t s t he number of pl anet s t o 7, but
it also ret ai ns bet ween t he f our t h and t he f i f t h pl anet t he large di st ance whose i ncongr ui t y caused
ast r onomer s all over Eur ope t o l ook for a pl anet bet ween Mars and Jupi t er . On Hegel ' s neo-
Pyt hagor ean expl anat i on t her e is no i ncongr ui t y, unless i t is t o be f ound in his st range and unexpl ai n-
ed s ubs t i t ut i on of 16 f or 8 as t he rel at i ve di st ance of t he si xt h pl anet Sat ur n. 3
As t r onomer s may exper i ence di f f i cul t i es in j ust i f yi ng t hei r use of pr eci ous obser vat i on t i me but
ar mchai r phi l osopher s are subj ect t o even gr eat er perils. Before Hegel had del i ver ed his i naugural
l ect ure at I ena in 1801, Piazzi had si ght ed t he ast er oi d Ceres and, wi t hi n 7 years, Pallas, Juno, and
Vest a had been det ect ed by ent husi ast s of Bode' s Law.
In his Naturpbilosopbie of 1816, Hegel gr aci ousl y acknowl edged t he exi st ence of t hese ast er oi ds
and, si nce he had by t hen become Eur ope' s l eadi ng phi l osopher , he even a dmi t t e d some mer i t in
Bode' s Law. He woul d not , however, abandon his deep convi ct i on t hat t he pl anet ar y syst em was
"gover ned by const r uct s of t he mi nd". The Pyt hagor ean series was not , he r egr et f ul l y confessed, t he
one t hat t he Cr eat or had used in or der i ng t he pl anet s. Al l t hat coul d now be adduced was t hat t he
pl anet s fell i nt o t hr ee groups. The f our pl anet s wi t h no sat el l i t es, or onl y one such as t he Ear t h, made
up t he first, t he ast er oi ds t he second, and t he t hi r d was compos ed of t he out er pl anet s wi t h several
sat el l i t es or rings such as Sat urn. 4 For t una t e l y, Hegel di ed in 1831 and was spar ed t he shock of t he
di scover y of t wo sat el l i t es of Mars by Asaph Hal l in 1877!
For t he pur pose of t hi s paper I consi der Post -Renai ssance as t r onomy as coveri ng t he per i od
bet ween t he her met i c j ust i f i cat i on of t he number seven by Si zzi and t he Pyt hagor ean vi ndi cat i on of
t he same number by Hegel.
Of course, dur i ng t hi s per i od much was goi ng on out si de t he mi nds of phi l osopher s, and t he
most exci t i ng el ement was not t he quest f or t he " t r u e " mat hemat i cal series but t he i ncrease in size
of t he universe.
Coper ni cus had been f ul l y aware of t he consequence of assert i ng t hat t he Ear t h moved ar ound
t he Sun al t hough t he f i xed st ars appear i mmobi l e. Thi s coul d be r econci l ed wi t h t he exper i ment al
er r or of 6 t o 10 mi nut es of arc pr esent in t he det er mi nat i on of t he pos i t i on of st ars onl y if t hey were
a t housand t i mes f ar t her t han t he radi us of t he Ear t h' s or bi t . Thi s meant t hat a vast t r act of e mpt y
space must separ at e Sat ur n f r om t he sphere of f i xed st ars and Coper ni cus seems t o have posi t i vel y
wel comed t hi s as evi dence of t he per f ect i on of " t he godl i ke wor k of t he Best and Gr eat es t Ar t i s t "
who cl earl y set apar t " t he moved f r om t he unmoved" , s But many saw in this enor mous di st ance
bot h a l ack of pr opor t i on and a meani ngl ess voi d. Si mpl i ci o, in Gal i l eo' s Dialogue on tbe Great
World Systems, expresses a view c ommon t o many ast r onomer s i ncl udi ng Tyc ho Brahe: " Now when
we see t he beaut i f ul or der of t he pl anet s, arranged ar ound t he Ear t h at di st ances commens ur at e wi t h
t hei r pr oduci ng upon i t t hei r ef f ect s for our benef i t , why go on t o pl ace bet ween t he hi ghest orb,
namel y t hat of Sat ur n, and t he st el l ar spher e an enor mous, super f l uous and vain space wi t hout any
st ar what soever? To what end? For t he use and conveni ence of whom? ' ' 6
Yet Coper ni cus had a r adi cal pr ecur sor in Cardi nal Cusanus who, in his Docta Ignorantia, spoke
of an i nf i ni t e wor l d, a vi ew t hat was champi oned in s omewhat mor e s t r i dent t ones by Gi or dano
Br uno in t he si xt eent h cent ur y. For Br uno' s f ol l ower s t her e wer e as many wor l ds as t her e are f i xed
st ars and t hey decl ar ed t hat t he nova of 1604 her al ded t he bi r t h of a new wor l d. This, f or Kepl er,
was sl eepwal ki ng of t he wor st ki nd: t he not i on of an i nf i ni t e uni verse made hi m shudder as at t he
ment i on of somet hi ng occul t . 7
But t he t el escope went on di scl osi ng how si mi l ar ot her pl anet s are t o t he Eart h. The mos t
spect acul ar r evel at i on was t he di scover y t hat t he appar ent l y s moot h and per f ect l y spher i cal surface
of t he Moon was r eal l y "uneven, rough, and ful l of cavi t i es and pr omi nences ". 8 The Moon appear ed
so much l i ke t he Eart h t hat Gal i l eo descr i bed a large ci rcul ar spot in t he cent r e as offeri ng " t he same
appear ance as woul d a regi on l i ke Bohemi a if t hat were encl osed by very l of t y mount ai ns arranged
exact l y in a ci rcl e". 9
Such a compar i son was f r aught wi t h danger in t he home of t he Count er - Ref or mat i on and
Monsi gnor Ci ampol i , Gal i l eo' s f r i end in Rome, f ound i t necessary t o war n Gal i l eo: " Your opi ni on
regardi ng t he phenomena of l i ght and shadow in t he br i ght and clark spot s of t he Moon creat es some
anal ogy bet ween t he l unar gl obe and t he Ear t h; s ome body expands on t hi s, and says t hat you pl ace
human i nhabi t ant s on t he Moon; t he next f el l ow st ar t s t o di sput e how t hese can be descended f r om
Some aspect s of post - Renai ssance a s t r onomy 13
Adam, or how t hey can have come of f Noah' s ark, and many ot her ext r avagances you never dr eamed
Of " . 1 0
But t he t e nde nc y t o peopl e t he pl anet s pr oved i rresi st i bl e. On r eadi ng t he Sidereus Nuncius,
Kepl er i mmedi at el y be t hought hi msel f of co- oper at i ng wi t h Gal i l eo in pr epar i ng f or an event ual t r i p
t o t he Moon and Jupi t er . These pl anet s pr oba bl y had i nhabi t ant s and i t was l i kel y t hat expl or er s
f r om t he Ear t h woul d reach t hem as soon as t he ar t of f l yi ng was ma s t e r e dJ
In 1638, t he Bi shop of Chest er, J ohn Wilkins, wr i t i ng under s omewhat less severe t heol ogi cal
const r ai nt s t han Gal i l eo, af f i r med t he pl ausi bi l i t y of ext r at er r est r i al s but still f el t i t necessar y t o de-
vot e hal f his book t o showi ng t hat such an opi ni on was nei t her i mpi ous nor i r r at i onal . A f ew year s
l at er , Pi erre Borel t hought he coul d pr ove t hat t he Moon was i nhabi t ed, 12 and Font enel l e, in his
wi del y r ead Entretiens sur la pluralit'e des mondes, si mpl y t ook i t f or gr ant ed. By t he end of t he
cent ur y, as is evi denced in J ohn Ra y' s The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation, i t
had achi eved t he st at us of a t heol ogi cal commonpl ace. 13
Font enel l e i ndul ged in a descr i pt i on of t he physi cal and psychol ogi cal t r ai t s of t he i nhabi t ant s
of t he vari ous pl anet s. The Marqui se, his pupi l , is made t o under s t and t hat t he peopl e on Venus mus t
r esembl e t he Moor s of Gr anada, a smal l bl ack peopl e ful l of spi r i t and fi re al ways r eady t o make love,
busy wr i t i ng poe t r y and eager t o i nvent fi est as, dances and par ades every d a y J a Font enel l e' s
Entretiens ran i nt o t hi r t y- t hr ee edi t i ons dur i ng his l i f et i me and sci ent i st s do not appear t o have l ooked
askance at t hem. Huygens' obj ect i on t o such phant asi es was not t hat t hey were wr ong- headed but
t hat t hey l acked a sound sci ent i f i c f oot i ng, whi ch he pr oceeded t o suppl y in his own Cosmotbeoreos.
Si nce t he same laws appl y t hr oughout t he universe, Huygens descr i bed in consi der abl e det ai l bot h t he
popul at i ons and t he eco- syst ems of our nei ghbor i ng pl anet s. He was also abl e t o enl i ght en his readers
on engi neer i ng t echni ques and on t he pr act i ce of shi pbui l di ng especi al l y on J upi t er and Sat ur n. 1 s
The ei ght eent h cent ur y may be said t o bask in t he l i ght of t hese new cer t i t udes. Ber kel ey
asserts on t he gr ounds of " c o mmo n sense" t hat " t her e are i nnumer abl e or der s of i nt el l i gent bei ng
mor e ha ppy and mor e per f ect t han ma n " J 6 J. H. Lamber t , in his Cosmologiscbe Briefe of 1751, al so
f el t t hat t he exi st ence of ext r at er r es t r i al s was obvious.~ 7 When Bode t r ansl at ed Font enel l e' s
Entretiens i nt o Ger man, he l ef t no d o u b t t hat he unde r t ook t he t ask in a sci ent i f i c r at her t han a
l i t er ar y f r ame of mi nd. The passage in whi ch Font enel l e descr i bes t he ext r eme liveliness of t he
i nhabi t ant s of Venus cal l ed f or t h t he f ol l owi ng comment : "Pecul i ar [ One f i nds r at her wi t h us her e
[in Berlin] t hat t oo much heat makes t he mi nd mor e sl eepy and l azy r at her t han l i v e l y " ) s
Kant was convi nced t hat t he pl anet s were popul at ed and he descr i bed t he char act er i st i cs of t he
vari ous pl anet ar y races as condi t i oned by t hei r rel at i ve posi t i on. As t he var i ous races of manki nd have
t hei r physi cal and ment al char act er i st i cs moul ded by t hei r geogr aphi cal envi r onment so t he mor al and
i nt el l ect ual char act er i st i cs of t he vari ous pl anet ar y bei ngs are det er mi ned by t hei r di st ance f r om t he
Sun.
Kant was i ncl i ned t o seek t he most per f ect classes of r at i onal bei ngs far away f r om t he cent r e of
t he sol ar syst em si nce i t is l i kel y t hat t he ma t t e r of t he out er pl anet s is l i ght er and f i ner and woul d
prove less of a hi ndr ance t o t he act i vi t i es of t he soul . In t he t hi r d par t of his Universal Natural History
and Theory of t be Heavens ( unaccount abl y omi t t e d f r om t he English t r ansl at i on) he even suggests
t hat Newt on woul d be l ooked upon as an ape on J upi t er or wor se still on Sat urn. 19
But whi l e a c ommuni t y of nat i ons, al bei t of var yi ng mor al and i nt el l ect ual apt i t udes, was bei ng
post ul at ed, t he pl anet s t hemsel ves were movi ng apar t at a t r emendous pace as each successi vel y mor e
preci se det er mi nat i on i ncreased t he size of t he sol ar syst em.
One of t he advant ages of t he Coper ni can syst em was t he r emar kabl y accur at e det er mi nat i on of
t he rel at i ve pl anet ar y di st ances as can be seen when t hey are compar ed wi t h t he moder n dat a given in
par ent heses: 0. 37 (0. 38), 0. 72 (0. 72), 1.52 (1. 52), 5. 22 (5. 20), 9. 17 (9. 54). The i mpor t ance of such
rel at i ve spaci ng was br ought out in Kepl er ' s Thi r d Law connect i ng t he per i ods and mean di st ances of
t he pl anet s. Kepl er was eager t o poi nt out how sui t abl e i t was t o use t he Ear t h- Sun di st ance as t he
measur i ng r od of t he Uni verse but , however appr opr i at e, t he measur i ng- r od coul d not begi n t o convey
t he gr andi ose di mensi ons of t he sol ar syst em unt i l its l engt h had been det er mi ned. Thi s was not
achi eved wi t h r easonabl e accur acy unt i l a bout 40 year s af t er Kepl er ' s deat h when, in 1672, Ri cher and
Pi card measur ed t he par al l ax of Mars. The val ue of t he par al l ax of Mars yi el ded onl y its di st ance, but by
Kepl er ' s Thi r d Law t he di st ances of all t he ot her pl anet s f ol l owed r eadi l y, and so t he r i chl y e ndowe d
i nhabi t ant s of Sat ur n at t he out er l i mi t s of t he sol ar syst em, t ur ned out t o be not at 20, 000 but at
200, 000 Eart h-radi i .
14 WILLIAM R. SHEA
If t he solar syst em had increased t enf ol d, t he stars had receded even more. But by how much?
Kepler had of f er ed 60 mi l l i on Eart h-radi i f or t he distance of t he f i xed stars, a value t hat he obt ai ned
f r om geomet r y rat her t han observat i on, namel y by assuming t hat t he or bi t of Sat urn was a geo -
met ri cal mean bet ween t he di amet er of t he Sun and t he di amet er of the spheres of f i xed stars. 20 Bold
as this conj ect ur e of 60 mi l l i on Eart h-radi i was, it represent s onl y 1% of t he cor r ect value f or t he
nearest stars.
Huygens arrived at a much larger value by assuming t hat t he Sun and Sirius were similar stars
and l ooki ng t hr ough various holes unt i l he f ound one t hr ough whi ch t he Sun appeared wi t h a bright-
ness equal t o Sirius. This gave hi m a di st ance f or Sirius of 27, 664 ast r onomi cal units, and t o bring
t he enor mi t y of this home t o his readers he expl ai ned t hat a bul l et t hat t ook 25 years t o cover t he
distance t o t he Sun f r om t he Eart h woul d have t o travel some 700, 000 years t o reach Sirius. 21 And
yet t he value suggested by Huygens falls short of t he cor r ect value by a f act or of about 18.
The front i ers of t he cosmos had been pushed well beyond t he limits of t he sphere of f i xed stars
and even the cent ral posi t i on of t he Sun, t o whi ch Coperni cus and Kepl er paid an al most religious
homage, began t o l ook arbi t rary. Newt on spoke of his law of gravi t at i on as requi ri ng an i nfi ni t e
amount of mat t er di st ri but ed in i nfi ni t e space, lest t he at t r act i on shoul d pull all mat t er i nt o one huge
bulk. But t he starry sky showed anyt hi ng but uni f or mi t y. This appeared as a challenge t o Thomas
Wright of Dur ham who coul d not believe t hat God had st rewn t he stars across t he heavens carelessly.
Wright suggested t hat t he di sorderl y di st r i but i on was merel y appar ent and t hat it arose f r om t he
Ear t h' s posi t i on near t he cent re of t he Milky Way, a vast assemblage of separate stars movi ng in t he
same di r ect i on and in appr oxi mat el y t he same plane. 22
The next step was t aken by Kant who happened to read in 1751 in t he Hambur g j ournal , Freie
UrteiIe, an essay review of Wright' s book. Four years later in his Universal Natural History and
Theory of the Heavens, Kant argued t hat t he l umi nous pat ches long observed in t he heavens were dis-
t i nct Milky Ways, and t hat t hey appeared circular or el l i pt i cal accordi ng t o t hei r posi t i on wi t h respect
t o t he earth. Kant saw in this a mani f est at i on of t he Cr eat or ' s wi sdom and power and he concl uded
t hat t he count l ess number of Milky Ways must be gr ouped in a hi erarchi cal syst em.
Hence by t he second hal f of t he ei ght eent h cent ur y, t hanks t o this phi l osphi cal yeast, t he not i on
t hat stars are gr ouped in disc-like syst ems was willingly ent er t ai ned. To subst ant i at e such a view,
however, syst emat i c observat i ons and measur ement s were indispensable, and nei t her Wright nor Kant
at t empt ed t o suppl y t hem. This giant step was l ef t t o William Herschel, for in spite of popul ar specu-
l at i on about i nfi ni t e worl ds and count l ess Milky Ways, t he starry sky was for t he pract i cal ast r onomer
what it had been f or t he Greeks: a huge, concave, spherical surface wi t h a f i xed radius. As Herschel
put it in 1784:
Hitherto the sidereal heavens have, not inadequately for the purpose designed, been represented by the
concave surface of a sphere, in the center of which the eye of an observer might be supposed to be placed...
In future, therefore, we shall look upon those regions into which we may now penetrate by means of such
large telescopes, as a naturalist regards a rich extent of ground or chain of mountains, containing strata vari-
ously inclined and directed, as well as consisting of very different material. A surface of a globe or map,
therefore, will but ill delineate the interior parts of the heavens. 23
Herschel had set hi msel f a colossal task, and he pursued it wi t h remarkabl e assiduity. His
catalogues publ i shed in 1786, 1789, and 1802 added over 2, 500 nebul ae t o t he 103 f ound in t he pre-
vious list of Messier. Thi s enabl ed hi m t o establish t hat t he Newt oni an assumpt i on of a uni f or m star
di st ri but i on was not in keepi ng wi t h the facts.
Herschel used a 20- f oot t el escope t o det er mi ne t he di amet er of t he Milky Way which he gave
as 6, 000 light years (as against t he present value of 80, 000 light years) but when he began t o use a
40- f oot t el escope he was led t o a radical reappraisal:
In these ten observations the gages applied to the milky way were found to be arrested in their progress
by the extreme smallness and faintness of the stars; this can however leave no doubt of the progressive extent
of the starry regions; for when in one of the observations a faint nebulosity was suspected, the application of
a higher magnifying power evinced, that the doubtful appearance was owing to an inter-mixture of many
stars that were too minute to be distinctly perceived with the lower power; hence we may conclude, that
when our gages will no longer resolve the milky way into stars, it is not because its nature is ambiguous, but
because it is fathomless. 24
S o me a s pe c t s o f p o s t - Re n a i s s a n c e a s t r o n o my 15
By t h e e n d o f o u r pe r i od, t h e r e f o r e , t h e u l t i ma t e f r o n t i e r s o f t h e uni ve r s e e l u d e d me n a n e w
a n d a s t r o n o me r s we r e l a u n c h e d o n c e a ga i n o n t h e i r q u e s t f o r t h e e ve r - r e c e di ng h o r i z o n s o f t h e uni -
ver se,
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1. Chri st opher Clavius, Commentarlum in Sphaeram Joannis de Sacro Bosco in Opera Omnia, Mainz, 1611,
vol. III, p. 75.
2. Francesco Sizzi, Dianoia Astronomica, Optica, Pbysica (Venice, 1611) in Galileo Galilei, Opere (ed. A.
Favaro), Florence: Barb6ra, 1890- 1909, vol. III, p. 214.
3. G.W.F. Hegel, Dissertatio Philosophica de Orbitis Planetarum i n Sa'mtliche Werke (ed. H. Glockner),
St ut t gar t : Fr omm arts Verlag, 1927, vol. I, p. 28. It is onl y fair t o not e t hat Hegel's reference t o t he series
at t r i but ed t o t he Demiurge (Timaeus 36) is not wi t hout irony.
4. G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Nature, trans, by M.J. Perry, 3 vols. London: Allen & Unwin, 1970, vol. I,
p. 281.
5. Copernicus, On tbe Revolutions of t be Heavenly Spberes, trans, by Charles Glenn Wallis [Great Books of
t he Western World, vol. 16] . Chicago: Encycl opaedi a Britannica, 1952, p. 529.
6. Galileo, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, trans, by Stillman Drake. Berkeley: University
of California Press, 1962, p. 367.
7. "Quae sola cogitatio, nescio qui d horrori s occulti prae se fert ; dum errare sese quis depr ehendi t in hoc
i mmenso". (Kepler, De Stella Nova in Pede Serpentarii [1606] in Gesammelte Werke (ed. Max Caspar),
18 vol. t o date, Munich: G.H. Beck' sche Vedag, 1938-, vol. I, p. 25).
8. Galileo, Sidereus Nuncius (1610) in Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans, by Stillman Drake, Garden
City, N.Y.: Doubl eday Anchor Books, 1957, p. 31.
9. Ibid., p. 36.
10. Let t er of Ciampoli t o Galileo, 28 February 1614, in Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans, by Stillman
Drake, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubl eday Anchor Books, 1957, p. 158.
11. Kepler, Dissertatio cure Nuncio Sidereo, critical edi t i on and not es by E. Pasoli and G. Tabarroni. Turi n:
Bot t ega d' Erasmo, 1972, p. 60. Kepler takes up t he quest i on of pl anet ary voyages in his post humous
Somni um. . De Astronomia Lunari. Frankfurt , 1634. See also J ohn Wilkins, The Discovery of a New World
[1638] for possible modes of conveyance t o t he moon ( John Wilkins, Mathematical and Philosophical
Works. London, 1708, pp. 113- 135) .
12. Pierre Borel, Discours nouveaux prouvant la pluralite des mondes, que les astres sont des terres habitues.
Paris, 1657.
13. J ohn Ray, The Wisdom of God Manifested in tbe Works of Creation, 3rd edi t i on, London, 1708, p. 6.
14. Font enel l e, En tretiens sur la pluralit$ des mondes. Edi t i on cri t i que et not es par A. Caiame. Paris: Marcel
Didier, 1966, p. 105.
15. Christian Huygens, Cosmotbeoreos [1698] in Oeuvres Completes 22 vols. in 23. La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff,
1888--1950, vol. 21, pp. 681- 763.
16. Gengo Berkeley, Alcipbron, in Works (eds. A.A. Luce and T.E. Jessop) 9 vols. Edi nburgh: Edi nburgh
University Press, 1948- 1957, vol. III, p. 172.
17. J . H. Lambert , Cosmologiscbe Briefe. Augsburg, 1751, p. 63.
18. Cited in St anl ey Jaki, The Relevance of Physics. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1966, p. 199.
19. Immanuel Kant, Werke (ed. Wilhelm Weischedel) 6 vols. Wiesbaden: Insel-Verlag, 1960, vol. I, p. 387.
20. Kepler, Epitome Astronomicae Copernicanae Liber Quartus [ 1620] , in Werke, vol. VII, p. 286.
21. Huygens, in Oeuvres Completes, 22 vols in 23. La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff, 1888- 1950, vol. 21,
pp. 814- 817.
22. Thomas Wright, Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe, London, 1750.
23, William Herschel, "An Account of some Observations Tendi ng t o Investigate t he Const r uct i on of t he
Heavens", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. 74, p. 438 (1784).
24, William Herschel, "Ast r onomi cal Observat i ons and Experi ment s, selected for t he purpose of ascert ai ni ng
t he relative distances of clusters of stars, and of investigating how far t he power of our telescopes may be
expect ed t o reach i nt o space, when di rect ed t o ambi guous celestial obj ect s", Phil. Trans, R. Soc. 108, 463
(1818).