Attractive copperplate engraving depicting the hypothesized motions of the planets, based upon the theories of Copernicus and Kepler.
This fascinating chart, published by Johann Dopplemayr in 1729, depicts planetary motions according to the heliocentric theory of planetary motion that developed during the Renaissance. The development of this theory is most commonly associated with Copernicus and Galileo, although Kepler helped to further refine it.
Unlike Copernicus, who believed that the planets had circular orbits, Kepler theorized that the planets had elliptical orbits. Kepler also theorized that there was a strong relationship between geometry and cosmology. Notes surrounding the diagrams explain Kepler's theories, as well as those of Ismael Bullialdus, Seth Ward, and Nicolaus Mercator.
The diagram on the left shows the orbit of the inner Solar System, with the paths of Mercury, Venus, and Earth shown. The diagram on the left shows the outer Solar System, with the paths of Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn shown.