History of Astronomy : Acta Historica Astronomiae

Klaus-Dieter Herbst:

Astronomie um 1700 [Astronomy around 1700]

Kommentierte Edition des Briefes von Gottfried Kirch an Olaus Römer vom 25. Oktober 1703 [Annotated edition of the letter by Gottfried Kirch to Olaus Römer of October 25, 1703]

(Acta Historica Astronomiae ; Vol. 4)

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The book focuses on Gottfried Kirch und Olaus Römer, two scholars who played a leading role in astronomy around 1700. Kirch was the astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences since 1700, recognized both as astronomical calculator and as observer - Römer was director of the Copenhagen Observatory and was the first who determined the speed of light.

Kirch's letter to Römer of October 1703, given here together with several addenda, was not a letter in the modern sense, but a treatise of broad contents, dealing with different astronomical items of that time: the problem of determining stellar and planetary positions, the subjective view on contemporaries, the methods of astronomical calculations, the discovery of comets and other questions are described in Kirch's vivid words.

Numerous annotations by the editor explain the astronomy of that time. The editor leads the reader step by step through the methods of astronomical calculations, which become clear and understandable. A complete bibliography of works by and about Kirch and a list of known archival sources are added.

Text in German.


Table of Contents (in German)

Bibliographical details:

Klaus-Dieter Herbst: Astronomie um 1700. Kommentierte Edition des Briefes von Gottfried Kirch an Olaus Römer vom 25. Oktober 1703. (Acta Historica Astronomiae ; 4). Thun ; Frankfurt am Main : Deutsch, 1999, 143 p., ISBN 3-8171-1589-X, ill., 15 x 21 cm, paperback EUR 12.80 / sfr 20.00.

Published in March 1999.

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Publisher's information (in German)

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Html-Version: Wolfgang R. Dick. Created: 14 June 1999. Latest update: 9 Apr 2003