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On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres (Great Minds Series) [Kindle Edition]

Nicolaus Copernicus
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The Ptolemaic system of the universe, with the earth at the centre, had held sway since antiquity as authoritative in philosophy, science, and church teaching. Following his observations of the heavenly bodies, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) abandoned the geocentric system for a heliocentric model, with the sun at the centre. His remarkable work, "On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres", stands as one of the greatest intellectual revolutions of all time, and profoundly influenced, among others, Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton.


This groundbreaking work of astronomy proposed a heliocentric universe in which planets orbited the sun - daring the challenge the Ptolemaic ideal of the earth as the centre of the universe.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 7443 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 344 Seiten
  • Verlag: Prometheus Books (3. Juni 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B003PDN9WA
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Erweiterte Schriftfunktion: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #692.431 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen What A Joy As Well As A Work of Art 24. März 2000
Never before did I know a man could explain the heliocentric universe as well in this book. Of Course, Copernicus explained it centuries before my birth. But, it seems so foolish to believe the geocentric view, and I'm Catholic. Read "Dialogues" by Galileo to get the full picture of what these two men said, it it truly fascinating.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  10 Rezensionen
20 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Awesome. 18. Oktober 2006
Von Shadowgraphs - Veröffentlicht auf
OK, first of all, "GangstaLawya" seems to not be taking into account the fine work of Kepler, Newton, and Einstein when he suggests that we "remain agnostic" on the issue of heliocentrism. True, Copernicus himself does not excactly refute Ptolemy here (he actually was more worried about how other astronomers and Protestant theologians would react to his heliocentric system than how the Catholic church would see it... and his model wasn't fully accepted until over a hundred years after his death), but this model was later augmented by Kepler and Newton to the point where it does work better than Ptolemy's. And with all due respect, the Ptolmaic system is extremely convoluted, needlessly complicated, and downright ugly at times... so even if there's a simpler way of looking at things that works just as well, that's still a conceptial improvement. Occam's razor, y'know?

But I digress. As with most of my reviews of books like this, my concern isn't necessarily the actual book (which is usually self-evidently worthwhile), but with the presentation. I must say that it's a little awkward to see Stephen Hawking's name appear on the cover in larger type than Copernicus' and not get anything more than a very short introduction by him that doesn't say very much. In fact, there is not very much of a difference between this edition and the one published by Prometheus Books; the text is exactly the same and contains all the same diagrams. The cover is flashier (and says "Stephen Hawking!") and the type is cleaner. That's it. Those are the only real differences. In fact, the only reason I can see for this edition existing is Running Press (and Stephen Hawking) making a few bucks.

Despite all this, there isn't really anything here that detracts from the work. So basically, you can buy this copy or the Prometheus Books edtion and it won't matter; you'll get pretty much the same thing and pay pretty much the same price either way. I'll leave it up to you whether you want the flashy cover (complete with Stephen Hawking's name on it) or the plain one because that's really about as deep as the choice goes.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen this is not the one I want 4. Oktober 2011
Von JJ - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
It only has Book1, Chapter 1 - 11. The rest of it are gone, without telling us. I feel I just wasted my money.
10 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A trip back in time 15. November 2006
Von S. Wallace - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Very good book. It really took me back to the 1400's, when everyone thought the earth was the center of the universe, and the sum and stars revolved around the Earth. The style of writing, and the enormity of the meesage was very illuminating.

I have to admit, though, after getting into the math and the scientific explanations, it gets pretty dry. I've only gotten 1/2 way through the book. But, because it's actually written by Copernicus, it is fascinating.

And, he made all these observations almost a century before telescopes were around.

PS i was led to read this, because of the book, Galileo's Daughter, which discusses the life of Galileo, his invention of the telescope, and the persecutions he faced.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A TRUE "CLASSIC" IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE 16. Juli 2014
Von Steven H Propp - Veröffentlicht auf
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473- 1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe. He speaks highly of Ptolemy, "who stands far in front of all the others no account of his wonderful care and industry, with the help of more than forty years of observations brought this art to such a high point that there seemed to be nothing left which he had not touched on." (I, preface)

He begins by arguing for the sphericity of the earth: "the world is globe-shaped... this form belongs to the heavenly bodies... But it is not perceived straightway to be a perfect sphere, on account of the great height of its mountains and the lowness of its valleys, though they modify its universal roundness to only a very small extent. That is made clear in this way. For when people journey northward from anywhere, the northern vertex of the axis of daily revolution gradually moves overhead, and the other moves downward to the same extent; and many starts situated to the north are not to set, and many to the south are seen not to rise any more. So Italy does not see Canopus, which is visible to Egypt. And Italy sees the last star of Fluvius, which is not visible to this region situated in a more frigid zone... Moreover, the inclinations of the poles have everywhere the same ration with places at equal distances from the poles of the Earth and that happens in no other figure except the spherical. Whence it is manifest that the earth itself is contained between the vertices and is therefore a globe. Add to this the fact that the inhabitants of the east do not perceive the evening eclipses of the sun and moon; nor the inhabitants of the West, the morning eclipses... Furthermore, voyagers perceive ... when land is not visible from the deck of a ship, it may be seen from the top of the mast..." (I, 2)

He argues, "I think we must see whether or not a movement follows upon its form and what the place of the Earth is in the universe. For without doing that it will not be possible to find a sure reason for the movements appearing in the heavens...Now it is from the Earth that the celestial circuit is beheld and presented to our sight. Therefore, if some movement should belong to the earth, it will appear, in the parts of the universe which are outside, as the same movement but in the opposite direction... And thedaily revolution is especial in such a movement. For the daily revolution appears to carry the whole universe along, with the exception of the Earth and the things around it. And if you admit that the heavens possess none of this movement but that the Earth turns from west to east, you will find... that as regards the apparent rising and setting of the sun, moon, and stars the case is so. And since it is the heavens which contain and embrace all things as the place common to the universe, it will not be clear at once why movement should not be assigned to the contained rather to the container... For the fact that the wandering stars are seen to be sometimes nearer the Earth and at other times farther away necessarily argues that the centre of the Earth is not the centre of their circles." (I, 5)

He adds, "For the apparent irregular movement of the planets and their variable distances from the Earth---which cannot be understood as occurring in circles homocentric with the earth---make it clear that the earth is not the centre of their circular movements. Therefore, since there are many centres, it is not foolhardy to doubt whether the centre of gravity of the Earth rather than some other is the centre of the world. I myself think that gravity or heaviness is nothing except a certain natural appetency implanted in the parts by the divine providence of the universal Artisan, in order that they should unite with one another in their oneness and wholeness and come together in the form of a globe." (I, 9) He concludes, "Therefore we are not ashamed to maintain that this totality---which the moon embraces---and the centre of the Earth too traverse that great orbital circle among the other wandering stars in an annual revolution around the sun; and that the centre of the world is around the sun. I also say that the sun remains forever immobile and that whatever apparent movement belongs to it can be verified of the mobility of the earth..." (I, 10)

This book will be of great interest and value to anyone studying the history of astronomical science.
4.0 von 5 Sternen A classic where you will benefit from even a partial reading 19. Januar 2014
Von Richard Dengrove - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Copernicus turns out to be a different person than what I thought. A man a hundred or two hundred years ahead of his time in astronomy. Not only do the planets go around the Sun, but the stars are an indefinite distance from us. All he had done was go with his observations, and not push some religion or philosophy. Unfortunately, he lost me on the geometry and his explanation of it. That is why I gave it a lower rating for myself than I would have otherwise. In short, his problem was having to prove everything. Good in scientist but I lack the training or the inclination to figure it out. I would clearly recommend this to specialists. I would be a little reluctant to recommend it to lay persons such as myself, unless they had enthusiasm and stick-to-it-iveness. I guess that is why so many histories of astronomy reveal the author did not read this original work.
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