Fine old color example of this striking depiction of Tycho Brahe's model of the Universe, from the 1708 Valk & Schenk edition of Andreas Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus.
Tycho Brahe was the last of the great "naked eye" astronomers. As a compromise between the models of Ptolemy and Copenicus, the Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe proposed a model of the Universe which placed the earth at the center of the Universe and the Sun and Moon circling the Earth but the other planets revolving around the Sun. His system was intended to harmonize the mathematical observations of Copernicus with the ecclesiatical imperatives of the times, namely, preservation of Ptolemy's geocentric model of the Universe.
This chart provides Tycho Brahe's calculations of the courses and altitudes of the planets, in support of his helio-geocentric model. He believed that the Earth was too sluggish and heavy to be continuously in motion. According to the accepted Aristotelian physics of the time, the heavens (whose motions and cycles were continuous and unending) were made of "Aether" or "Quintessence." This substance was light, strong, unchanging, and its natural state was circular motion. By contrast, the Earth (where objects seem to have motion only when moved) and things on it were composed of substances that were heavy and whose natural state was rest. Accordingly, Tycho said the Earth was a "lazy" body that was not readily moved. He also cited the authority of scripture in portraying the Earth as being at rest, although over time he relied increasingly on his scientific conclusions.
Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th Century and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius' best known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson's Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued. A second edition was published by Jansson in 1661 and a third edition by Valk & Schenk in 1708.
Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th century, and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius' best-known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson's Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two-volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued.
Cellarius' charts are the most sought after of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge. The present examples come from the Valk & Schenk edition of Cellarius' atlas, which is unchanged from the 1661 edition. The 1660 and 1661 editions can be distinguished by the inclusion of a plate number in the lower right corner of the 1661 edition. The Valk & Schenk edition can be distinguished by the addition of the printer's name (Valk & Schenk) in the titles of the maps.