The Revolutionary Astronomers Revolutionary Astronomical Models - Essay

Revolutionary Astronomical Models

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

S. K. Heninger, Jr. (essay date 1977)

SOURCE: "Copernicus and His Consequences," in The Cosmographical Glass: Renaissance Diagrams of the Universe, The Huntington Library, 1977, pp. 45-80.

[In the following excerpt, Heninger gives a detailed explanation of each of the many cosmological models that the Copernican theory had spawned in the seventeenth century, thereby telling the story of the difficult transition to the new astronomy.]

The geocentric system gives the appearance of neatness and accounts readily for the casually observed phenomena in the world around us. Nonetheless, it proved unwieldy to the professional astronomer. His job was to...

(The entire section is 11388 words.)