How Kepler's New Star Traveled to England

Robert S. Westman

in The Copernican Question

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520254817
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948167 | DOI:
How Kepler's New Star Traveled to England

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Johannes Kepler's De Stella Nova had broad appeal for different contemporary groups. As with the 1572 nova, Kepler described a novelty that required no special technical skill to observe. Antonio Lorenzini, the hapless opponent of parallax, was something of a soft target for Kepler—as he was for Baldassare Capra, Alimberto Mauri, and, much later, Galileo. Moreover, Kepler's systematic attack on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and in defense of a reformed, aspectual astrology linked the new star to the science of the stars. In these different ways, therefore, the nova moved out of the domain of the strictly miraculous and became part of the ordinary course of nature. At the same time, Kepler's discussions of heavenly alteration and the size of the universe brought him into explicit engagement with the natural philosophy of the modernizers—especially Giordano Bruno, Tycho Brahe, and William Gilbert. This chapter focuses on how Kepler's De Stella Nova traveled from Germany and Italy to England. In particular, it examines his English campaign hoping for public endorsement of his reformed astrology from King James.

Keywords: Johannes Kepler; De Stella Nova; Germany; Italy; England; King James; astrology; Galileo; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; stars

Chapter.  8968 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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