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Seventeenth Century Astronomy Illustration

 
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 10:23 am
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3154/2636515299_e0c2c4f882.jpg

Thanks, all of you, for your interest. I am at my parents right now. The best I can do at the moment is edit the photo at my photo website. I would need to borrow a better camera to make a better photo.

Setanta: the curators at Chicago Adler Planetarium told me that I may never find the source. What I have is a "disbound" illustration. The planetarium also has a few "disbound" illustrations that they themselves have never identified.

rosborne: username is correct. It is a plate number (XXIV).
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 10:29 am
Do you think the missing "A" signifies the absent God?
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 10:31 am
spendius wrote:
Do you think the missing "A" signifies the absent God?


One of the curators at the planetarium said that my illustration made him wonder what the model for figure "A" looks like.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 11:04 am
Link To My Photo At Flickr

farmerman,

I hope this link helps.

The illustration was a birthday gift given to me when I was nine years old (1963) by an uncle. At the time, my uncle was a mathematics professor at a university in Saarbruecken, Germany.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 12:27 pm
It has to be admitted fm that if the document is a fake everything you wrote about it is pure bullshit so I can understand why you don't wish to consider the possibility. Hardly scientific though is it?

Mention of Tycho (Tyge) de Brahe reminds me of a point or two of interest.

He was kidnapped as a young child by his father's brother.

As a student he had most of his nose sliced off in a duel and surgeons made a prosthesis from silver and gold on which he had to frequently rub an ointment.

His destiny was to be a statesman but a partial eclipse of the sun so overwhelmed him (at 14) that it put him astride his hobby-horse from which he never dismounted.

So wande, you have that partial eclipse to thank for a component of your picture. The one marked C I think which is also like the model of Herakleides.

Tycho was rich. Loaded. He owned people. Kepler and Copernicus were both poor.

What had most taken him with the eclipse was not the event itself but the fact that it had been predicted and was on time. This gave him a passion for exact observation and he constructed, with his money and grants from the State of some munificence, elaborate observation instruments which were a "wonder of the world" it was said. And rightly. One was constructed of brass and oak and 38 feet in diameter.

It was a refuge from the boredom of, as he said, " horses, dogs and luxury". And his mistress was a peasant woman. He drank a great deal more than I dare.

His great discovery was the need for precise and continuous observational data. Precision for precision's sake. An eccentricity at that time much as art for art's sake was 300 years later. His devotion to fractions of minutes of arc was unnecessary for practical purposes such as navigation and construction of calenders. Hence true science which in its pure form is the disinterested play of the curiosity without aims. His way of worshipping the Divine.

With his uncle, Steen Bille, he dabbled in alchemy and astrology to which he was also devoted. He became a court astrologer and was convinced that the stars influence man's character and destiny although he knew not how or why.

He used his instruments to prove that a novae was a star and did not move in the sky. (1572). That shattered the universe of the ancients.
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username
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 12:38 pm
It's probably not German. The typeface identifying the illustrations is a Roman letter, not the German Fraktur Black Letter. A lot of the early printing houses had their own slightly idiosyncratic typefaces cut for them. A type historian might be able to pin it down for you. It could also be something in the nature of a summary of the history of astronomy, rather than about a current debate, so could well be considerably later than the 1650s. Books were big business pretty early on in publishing history, and being small and comaratively light travelled long distances, and between countries among the community of scholars, so it could have been published almost anywhere.
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username
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 12:39 pm
Well, except likely not Germany.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 12:42 pm
Tycho had made a celestial globe five feet in diameter which cost the equivalent of 80 years of Kepler's salary.

He had a fool called Jepp, a dwarf, who sat under the table at banquets, which were a regular occurence, to whom he threw bits of food. Jepp was reputed to have second sight.

In the basement of his observatory he had a printing press, an alchemist's furnace and a prison for tenants who displeased him. His pet elk wondered up the stairs, found a beer vat, got pissed and broke a leg falling back down the stairs, from which it died.

They don't make scientists like that anymore.
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username
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 01:17 pm
Mygawd, what is happening to the world as we know it? At last, an interesting post (two, actually) from Spendius! Whoda thought? Just needs the fools and dwarves to bring it out.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 03:34 pm
You actually mean two posts you found interesting.

Your blase and arrogant assumption that only such posts are interesting per se is a characteristic I can't get my head around.

You must not have the faintest idea how stunting such notions are.

Whenever I see things that others find interesting those things interest me and I can tell when people do find things interesting from their verbal and literary expressions, postures and movements just as I can tell when people are only pretending to be interested in something for reasons extraneous to the thing. You see a lot of the former in sport and a good deal of the latter in that world where Art's Council funds circulate.

Also such as people pretending to be interested in science or art when they are not really. They are rowing their boat ashore. Usually amateurishly but not always. Some acts are quite difficult to see through.

I thus find a vast range of things interesting and can thus choose which to give most attention to and this choice enables me to bring to bear other considerations such as the conservation of energy principle and the devices our scientists and technologists have perfected to pay it reverence. Recliners, sofas, beds, chairs, cushions, sand banks, grassy slopes, and other stuff of a similar type which I don't suppose I need detail.

This saves me a great deal of money and from tiring myself out running around the countryside looking at novelties and scenic views which soon wear out their interest, especially if their is a cash interface and no beer, and thus require replacing as a way of passing the time.

One can see the strong and natural urge to get the weight off the feet on crowded public transport and in many other places. So much so that it is self-evidently an evolutionary necessity.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 03:35 pm
Well, Wandel, in fact the larger image does help. With my poor eyesight, i had not deciphered the portion of the image which suggests that it is plate 24. That could help someone to identify it--which is not the same as saying anyone will.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 04:57 pm
Thanks, username and Setanta.

Spendi: In my opinion, Tycho Brahe was the "Michael Behe" of the world systems debate. His diagram actually gives the same perspective as the heliocentric diagram, while managing to keep the earth in the center. Many seventeenth century Jesuits tried to promote Tycho Brahe's version.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 05:28 pm
Don't be so daft wande.

Mr Behe is a carpetbagger.

Have you forgotten already that Tycho had a low caste woman to whom he was not married, I'd bet she was a cracker, a dwarf fool who had second sight, a pet elk, a martyr, and more money and influence than Mr Gates dare dream of.

And he lived across the way from Elsinor where Hamlet was supposed to have lived.

Suppose your picture is one Tycho had made on his printing press. That would be better than having Mr Behe's autograph on a Ben Stein movie programme I should imagine.

You might well be on "Easy Street".
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:46 pm
Tycho , for being an alchemist , wasnt too bright. He let himself be poisoned by Joe Kepler with sizable Hg salts
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 04:00 am
What's your source for that fm?
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 06:02 am
HEAVENLY INTRIGUE by Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder.
Its a2004 account of the collaboration between Kepler and Brahe and the forensic accounts of Brahes death (via modern ICP anlyses)
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 06:36 am
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3104/2642153486_38a28d9bc4.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2642153538_26f2f5c96b.jpg

better shot and more detail on the type style (username mentioned that type style can be distinctive)
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:01 am
Kepler wrote an eye-witness account of the event and the symptoms don't sound like those of mercury poisoning to me.

And it's an odd sort of poison at a time when there were plenty more to choose from and quicker acting. There were plenty of poisonologists in those days Would there be mercury around in his buildings?

From reports of Tycho's eating and drinking habits I incline to it being those. Or syphilis.

We'll never know. And it doesn't matter much.

One thing I do know and it is that we didn't ought to blacken the name of a famous scientist just because some couple wrote an "account".

Reports of La Mettrie's death just say food poisoning. Which must have been rife with the hygiene standards they had. Suspicions of a deliberate act are speculative. Unscientific.

They might be classed as scientific though if they cause the effect of making money much as ID might be thought scientific if it causes a desired effect.

Then the argument would centre on "desired".

But those saying the effect is not desired ought, to be thought responsible, describe the effect of what they propose in its place. If they can't or won't they are not really in the grown-up argument.

Some might fancy it so they ought to try to test its popularity on the hustings instead of sitting in their guarded offices putting out prepared position papers criticising those who do test their popularity properly.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:13 am
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2642153538_26f2f5c96b.jpg

username,

Do you know what the typeface is called? This image shows more detail.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:41 am
It looks a common one wande (sans-serif Roman maybe).

I don't think there's much to be gleaned from the typeface.

Is there anything on the back side?

What was the curator's general demeanour when he saw it?
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