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Cover Art
Author Vollmann, William T.

Title Uncentering the Earth : Copernicus and The revolutions of the heavenly spheres / William T. Vollmann.

Published New York : Norton, [2006]


Location Call No. Status
Edition 1st ed.
Physical description 295 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Series Great discoveries.
Great discoveries.
Notes "Atlas books."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-294).
Contents Why the Universe Screams 21 -- Exegesis: Osiander's Preface and I.1-4 25 -- Once upon a time, beneath an unspotted sun -- Provenance of the preface -- Rev. I.1 What ought to be must be -- Spherical finitude -- I.2 Spherical Earth -- Starry proofs -- I.3 Proportioning water on the Earth -- I.4 Eternal circles, circles around circles -- Ecliptic and the Zodiac -- Equinoxes -- Ecliptic wriggles -- A complaint against contrary movements -- I.4 (cont'd) "We must however confess that the movements are circular" -- On guard -- What We Believed: Cosmology 53 -- Centeredness as inevitability -- Twelve impieties -- Ptolemy's justifications -- Polish courtyards -- Dead hand -- Epicycles -- Diagram of a water-mill -- Equants -- Parable of the Alphonsine Tables -- One thing with many effects -- Exegesis: I.5 79 -- What We Believed: Motion 80 -- Earth's appropriate position -- Natural versus compulsory motion -- Willed perfection -- "Circular movement belongs to wholes and rectilinear to parts" -- Stillness -- Exegesis: I.5 (cont'd)-I.9 90 -- I.5 "Does the Earth have a circular movement?" -- I.6 Geometry of heavenly immensity -- I.7-9 Copernicus almost defines gravity -- A digression on Neptune's atmosphere -- A sub-digression on the Coriolis Effect -- "Then what should we say about the clouds?" -- I.9 Centering the sun -- Limits of Observation in 1543 100 -- How easy it used to be to save the appearances! -- Foucault's pendulum -- "Bequeathed like a legacy" -- "Binoculars are usually needed" -- Exegesis: I.10-14 109 -- I.10 Simplifying and rearranging the heavenly spheres -- I.11 Earth's three movements -- I.12-14 Some theorems of plane and spherical geometry -- Orbits of Venus 113 -- "In line with the Water-Bearer's testicles" -- Parallax -- Another perfect circle -- "Then what will they say is contained in all this space?" -- "An easier and more convenient demonstration" -- "More complicated than the Ptolemaic system" -- "But now the Telescope manifestly shows these horns" -- Exegesis: Book II 136 -- II.1-2: Uncentering definitions -- II.3-14: Tables and transformations -- What We Believed: Scriptures 142 -- Parable of the lodestone -- Exempt from re-examination -- Status of the sun when Lot came to Zo'ar -- "Aided by spiritual insight" -- Twenty-four centuries since Creation -- Axioms of Scriptural astronomy -- Leaden square -- "The Sun did run much more than 7,000 miles" -- Exegesis: Book III 161 -- III.1-3: Spica's variables -- III.3-4: The lost ellipse -- III.5-26: Eccentrics, epicycles and an uncentered Earth -- Silent to the End 168 -- "A pale, insignificant figure" -- Postludes to an occultation -- Fish days and meat days in Gynopolis -- "Nobody shall have any proper pretext to suspect evil of me hereafter" -- Safe at last -- Exegesis: Book IV 180 -- IV.2-4: "I say that the lunar appearances agree" -- IV.4-32: Distances, diameters, volumes -- Pillars of Hercules 185 -- "I doubt not that certain savants have taken great offense" -- To the Eighth Circle -- Herschel's looming universe -- Exegesis: Book V 192 -- V.1-5: The Martian circles -- V.4-36: Rescuing Mercury from injury and disparagement -- Assessments 203 -- "Rotting in a coffer" -- False supposition, true demonstration -- Exegesis: Book VI 206 -- VI.1-8: Inclination, obliquation, deviation -- VI.9: "Except that in the case of Mercury ..." -- Simplicity 212 -- Astrologers' shameful recourse -- Epilogue to Mercury's obliquation -- Back to iron-grubbing -- But the universe screamed -- Burnings 221 -- Medicean planets -- Resolutely Copernican -- "How great would have been thy joy" -- "Newly emerging values still seeking intellectual justification" -- "Safely back on a solid Earth".
Subject Copernicus, Nicolaus, 1473-1543. De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.
Copernicus, Nicolaus, 1473-1543 -- Influence.
Astronomy -- Early works to 1800.
Solar system -- Early works to 1800.
ISBN 0393059693