Aperfect heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the cosmos


10 thoughts on “Aperfect heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the cosmos

  1. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 4 of fiveThe Book Report Heliocentrism I doubt that stirs much passion in anyone reading this review It means sun centeredness yawn The solar system is heliocentric Hawaiian culture is heliocentric Big whoopIn the Sixteenth Century this sht was hot news and really really controversial Think gay marriage level passions inflamed Heliocentrism meant that the SUN and not God's Perfect Creation The Earth was the center of the Universe Panic Riots Thunderings from dimwitted religiosifiers Is this sounding familiar yet?And the man who ignited the revolution which really amounted to observing the real world carefully and reporting on his findings was a lifelong Polish Catholic churchman That's right a predecessor of John Paul II was the one who made the whole Church Edifice of lies and superstitions tremble before the might of reality Go Copernicus Right?Except he didn't want to do that He was a scientist a man who wasn't content to look at the lunar eclipse and say crikey that's purty and go on back inside to pray some He measured stuff He worked out mathematical explanations for stuff He even told a few friends of like mind about his thoughts And that's what set off the firestorm that still goes on between religion on one side and science on the other But he was a Churchman and a darned good and effective one and he didn't want to rock the boat lest he fall out of it and starve So he put his papers away boinked his housekeeper and prayed a couple times a day End of revolutionbut there were copies floating around and causing sensationsjust a matter of timeIt was a Lutheran who did it Wouldn't you know it would be a Protestant AND a German So along comes this Protestant German to Poland to look up the writer of the amazing On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres which our Lutheran troublemaker has read and is completely blown away by and tells Canon Copernicus that he mustmustmust publish this marvelous in the original sense of the word piece of logic and analysisWell we know who won but it took ages to convince Canon C to make with the goodies and he was long dead before the real shtstorm hit Best of all possible outcomes for ol' CopernicusMy Review Dava Sobel can count on me I will read and uite probably enjoy anything she writes She's got a knack for finding the interesting angle on stories of greater or lesser public fascination Her use of research plus imagination is exemplary in its balanceIn this book a beautiful hardcover from Walker Co she does something unusual She writes the story of the German guy Rheticus and Copernicus meeting and working together to get the manuscript ready for publication as a play It's true she won't be getting any Tony awards or getting a production even Off Off Broadway but she wrote a pretty compelling dramedy about the men and their probable conflicts in doing work that simply can't be overestimated in terms of its impact on Western culture It was a smart move too because this way she can't be criticized for making stuff up in the context of non fictionshe explicitly makes it up and presents it as fiction because there are unsurprisingly no source documents to write an non fictional account fromDo you take notes of your houseguests' visits just in case future generations might be interested?In the end this book is the accustomed Sobel experience It's solidly researched extensively bibliographized compendiously endnoted and charmingly written It was a pleasure to read In Walker Co's capable production and design hands it's also lovely to look at and easy to read Bloomsbury their corporate parent pays attention to the effect of design on the reading experience and as a result the books they publish are always worthy of a moment's reflection and appreciation as objects So rare in today's worldVery much recommended for history buffs science readers and Sobelians like me


  2. Clif Hostetler Clif Hostetler says:

    This is the story of Nicolaus Copernicus and how his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres revolutionized astronomy There are two facts about Copernicus that I found astounding First astronomy was his hobby not his occupation Second his book was almost NOT publishedHis job as church canon meant that he worked full time with responsibilities that included tasks such as administering church farm rental lands negotiating peace terms with the Teutonic Knights and responding to unreasonable demands from his Bishop while acting in the role of physician Somehow he found time to observe and record locations of the stars planets moon and sun He apparently didn't need much sleep He also combed through early Greek and Roman astronomical records and compared them with observations of his day Then he applied his math skills to discover that they followed patterns that coordinated with a hypothetical model of the planets including the earth orbiting the sun while the earth rotated on a tilted axis and the moon rotated around the earthHe apparently experienced his epiphany regarding heliocentrism in about 1510 and shared his idea with others by way of letters and distributing a sketchy outline Over the next three decades he continued to collect astronomical observations and perfected his calculations but refused of publish his theory in a book This biography of Copernicus seems to suggest the reason for his reticence to publish was his fear of objections from the church and critical scrutiny from other astronomers I personally picked up an impression of an alternative reason; that he was simply busy with other responsibilities and procrastinated on writing his bookThen in 1539 a young enigmatic mathematician and aspiring astrologer hamed Rheticus showed up at Copernicus’s door and begged him to publish a book about his heliocentric theory Apparently Rheticus refused to take no for an answer For the next couple years Rheticus somehow cajoled Copernicus to collect together his astronomical data and calculations and write his book about the movements of the Celestial Spheres In 1542 Rheticus delivered the manuscript to a printer of scientific booksCopernicus suffered a stroke soon after finishing the manuscript and was in a partial coma for a number of months Copernicus died on the same day that the first printed copy of the book was delivered and placed in his hands One can't help but wonder if he had any idea what a significant contribution he had made to the advancement of scienceI found it interesting how the author Dava Sobel managed to turn the available information about Copernicus into a book length story The problem is that most of the surviving documentation regarding Copernicus’ life are business and accounting types of documents which frankly aren’t very interesting and have nothing to do with astronomy He left no diary describing the details of his epiphany when he first thought of the heliocentric model And there is no detailed descriptions of how Rheticus managed to talk Copernicus into writing his book Dava Sobel’s clever solution was to imagine a fictional rendering of the CopernicusRheticus encounter and inserted it as Part Two into this book Her dramatization was written in playdrama format which makes it uite distinctive from the prose of the nonfiction narrative contained in parts one and three of the book This approach helps the reader to distinguish the fictional part from the nonfiction I think this approach was well done and managed to convey emotion and setting clearly than if the book had been all nonfiction narrative Part One of the book describes Copernicus’ life Part Three describes the reactions to his book includes a description of Rheticus’ life and tells of the later actions of Galileo and Kepler to advance and improve on the details of the heliocentric modelThere were contemporaries of Copernicus who agreed that the heliocentric model correctly described the movement of planets and earth But only Copernicus could published a book that carried convincing credibility because he was the only one who had combined his lifetime of astronomical observations with mathematical calculations to develop tables and formulas that could be used to predict future movements based on the heliocentric model


  3. Alan Alan says:

    Very readable and chocked with info on Copernicus's life as a Canon in Varmia on the Baltic after study at U of Krakow and at least two Italian universities Bologna canon law and Padova medicine Copernicus ended up a physician who made his living as a political appointee canon at Varmia Cathedral appointed by the literal nepotism of his uncle the Bishop But I found the play Interplay inserted in the middle of the book a problem a fictional account of Copernicus and his Protestant fan and assistant Rheticus as well as a few others Perhaps it should have been attached at the end of the book; it would be less damaging less intrusive so Sobel makes just enough non specialist mistakes to please this specialist For example on her very first page she refers to horoscopes and birth certtificates though they were not used until 1837 in the UK No idea when in Poland Of course the whole thing in the Renaissance was baptism; we have Shakespeare's baptismal day NOT his birthday which no one knows though everyone celebrates it A typical event in popular culture I once heard Dava Sobel at Seagrave Observatory west of Providence RI where I had also spoken on Giordano Bruno after my Harvard Astrophysics talk Google Giordano Bruno Harvard Video Preparing for that talk I read most of Copernicus's De Revolutionibus in English found I could only solve one of his problems in geometry because they were spherical geometry My great HS geometry teacher Miss Parkman Classical HS Springfield MA prepared me so well I aced the math SATs beat the future MIT students in her class though not in calculus the next year


  4. Wayne Wayne says:

    Dava Sobel spoke at the Sydney Writers' Festival last weekabout her latest wonderful bookShe and the interviewer also performed two excerpts from her playof the conversation between Copernicus the Polish Catholic Astronomer cleric and Rheticus the young German Lutheran Mathematician who had visited Copernicus to urge him to publish and be damnedThis brief play forms part of this novelDava played Rheticus who as a believer of astrology got some hefty trouncing from his Scientific BetterIt was a wonderful witty informative dialogue which held you with its drama of exposition and dawning of the lightIt turned out that Copernicus was right for the wrong reasons He used reason alone rather than also adding the necessary but arduous empirical course of collecting data which could go on for years Have recently read Descartes' Bones by Russell Shorto about another philosopher who turned Western Thought on its headand unwittingly for all these Great Scientists were solid Christianswho ironically opened up an increasing gap between Reason and Faithas Theology became less and less relevant in the dialogue about the UniverseDescartes caused my own personal crisis as a young theologising monkwho soon abandoned Theology as so much gobbldeygook and took up history science philosophy and good literature as a surer guidere How is One to Live?I found the crass conception of a Holy Trinity in One God simply the shortest thing on ethical substance I have yet encountered Being poor I am waiting for the paperback of this book to come out before I purchase itAll things come to those who waitclaimed MiltonI'm not so sure about that but it can be a comfortAnd surely will cause a modicum of Character Developmentdon't you think???PS I bought myself the hardback for my Birthday I hope it was my Lust for Knowledge that made me give in but I was never unhappy not even once when I read another Dava Sobel ClassicAnd as you can see I have awarded this latest from Dava Sobel 5 STARS


  5. Yibbie Yibbie says:

    I made it about halfway through this book Even before the scene that made me uit I was considering uitting The description I had of this book never let on that huge sections of this book are fiction To be specific they are drafts of the author’s play about Copernicus Even in the non play sections the author uoted a novel to fill a gap in the official record Then the author’s insistence on including the astrological readings for everything was odd because she constantly had to tell us that Copernicus didn’t believe in it I did like the section that combined the political history and Copernicus’ business records I thought that was a very interesting method While the non fiction section made his moral failings uite plain the play went way beyond that It delved deeper into a fellow mathematician’s depravity The language there was also fouler than in the rest of the book That was when I uit


  6. Bárbara Bárbara says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book While it was well written and overall well researched it contained a lot of details that weren't that interesting and I had to force myself slightely to keep reading through some of it So I enjoyed it but wasn't crazy about it I would recommend only for people who are trully interested in the person of Copernicus himself rather than astrology


  7. Emily Lakdawalla Emily Lakdawalla says:

    As with her previous two books Longitude and Galileo's Daughter Dava Sobel draws heavily on primary sources for her latest book A More Perfect Heaven How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos With lengthy uotes from personal letters and contemporary records Sobel paints a picture in words of the life and times of a man whose work literally produced a revolution changing the static immovable Earth to one that spun and revolved around the Sun at the center of the cosmos Sobel's work is challenging because the very few extant letters that are known to have been written by Copernicus only 17 of them do not provide uite enough for her to establish much empathy between the reader and the central characters The letters that do exist are mostly very formal By providing a lot of historical context Sobel shows how important a role the political and religious upheavals of Copernicus' time played in to his decision to delay publishing his work until close to the end of his life Copernicus was a contemporary of Luther so his life played out against the backdrop of religious revolution Georg Rheticus who assisted the Catholic Copernicus in preparing On the Revolutions for eventual publication was a young Lutheran yet the book was eventually dedicated to the Pope It's a fascinating story but also drier and less emotional with Machiavellian princes in various important roles than Sobel's previous books The book's formal and occasionally dry story is interrupted at the moment that Rheticus appears on Copernicus' doorstep In between Part One in which we see how Copernicus came to his new understanding of the cosmos and Part Three in which we see how his work was finally published just before his death there is a two act play dramatizing the crucial few months in which Rheticus and Copernicus collaborated It's an unusual device that I must admit I viewed rather skeptically as I approached the book but I found that the play succeeded Although Sobel based the play on some established facts it's clearly a work of historical fiction with wholly invented dialogue and character voices The device provides her with a way to speculate about what sorts of characters these men and women were driven by what sorts of emotions At the same time the play is clearly structurally separate from the formally correct history that bookends it And I must say that having encountered the play I found myself much empathetic to the history's characters in Part Three than I had been in Part One I should note that I didn't actually read this book; I listened to it in its audiobook format while driving to and from Goldstone I don't customarily listen to audiobooks so I can't compare it to other productions but I did think this one was very good The narrator's enunciation was crisp and clear across all of the Latinate words and eastern European surnames and place names More importantly when it came time for the play they cast the six characters with six different actors with distinctive voices with stage direction read by the book's narrator making the action very easy to follow I did find the narration too slow but speeding it up by a factor of 15 solved that problem neatly A More Perfect Heaven places Copernicus' life into a historical context that I hadn't appreciated before To whom would I recommend it? I'm sure people interested in the history of science would enjoy it but beyond that I think people interested in European history at the beginning of the Reformation would find in this story a new and illuminating angle It is however not as accessible as either Galileo's Daughter or Longitude And my editor has asked me to warn parents that there are some adult themes discussed in the book never very explicit but most prominent in the action of the play She said it should probably have a PG 13 rating I wouldn't give it to a kid under 13 anyway; but thinking back to myself as a high school senior science nerd taking modern European history it would certainly have added dimension to my study of a subject that I found tedious To me history was all about various rich princes suabbling like children and I had a hard time understanding why I should care Copernicus' story set against the backdrop of the machinations in Europe in the beginning of the 16th century would have given me reason to pay attention


  8. Ahmed R. Rashwan Ahmed R. Rashwan says:

    How long I have set aside the Copernican Revolution only to read it now renewing my vows with Astronomy It brings great delight and happiness to my heart reading about the man who is most probably the most important and influencing to my most beloved subjectCopernicus did not only revolutionize the Cosmos he revolutionized our perspective how we view ourselves in this world He is the messiah that delivered us from our self centered beliefs and our ego centric point of view of ourselves and provided us with a universe that dwarfed us Although the true vastness of our world was not even imagined by Copernicus himself but the one he had imagined one that was a billion times smaller still took us from Gods to mere grains of sand in an endless desertI can never thank Dava Sobel enough for writing this book and bringing Nicolaus Copernicus to life in the way that she did Besides the extremely informative thoroughly researched and passionately written biography of the magnificent character of Copernicus those around him and the surrounding areas that encompassing the politics economics and science of the time Sobel provides us with a splendidly delightful fictional and beautifully imaginative interplay sandwiched between before and after Copernicus' final moments At first I was unsure about the play as it is so clearly fictional although Sobel had made a point to insert not only actual facts but actual direct uotations from the characters involved obtained either from their writing or letters but it proved after completing it that it was such a beautiful rendition and visualization of what could have possibly been said or had taken place; by the end I happily allowed Sobel the creative license needed to bring Copernicus' story to lifeHistorical biographies of such massive characters are always so tricky having experienced several of them I expected to perhaps find the same flaws I often found in others within this genre But Dava Sobel excelled beyond all my expectations; if there ever was a book that perfectly displayed how a historical biography should be written it is this masterpiece of a book that should be set as the candidate There is never a moment where you are confused about a person's role or importance in history or the years in which significant events take place or where in time you were currently placedAlmost as important as the man Copernicus it is the aftermath his theories created that is eually crucial and is eually expanded on by Sobel Thinking that the book would be boring after Copernicus' departing I was pleasantly incorrect in my assumption and was just as amused and attracted to the men that followed in the steps of the great man and further enlarged the universe he had discovered Perhaps it is now than ever that a voices and convictions as Copernicus Kepler and Galileo possessed are needed Men who stand up to what they believe in their hearts is right regardless of how adamant the majority of our race are towards a certain opinion or belief; men who have the will to dedicate their entire lives towards a certain goal and what magical goal can one have than literally reaching for the stars Beautiful book


  9. Jennifer (JC-S) Jennifer (JC-S) says:

    ‘The motions of the planets captured Copernicus’s interest from the start of his university studies’Nicolaus Copernicus 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543 a Polish mathematician and astronomer was the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric astronomical model of our solar system In this book Ms Sobel provides a biography of Copernicus together with a history of the development of his heliocentric astronomical model Copernicus was working during a period of change in Europe the relatively gradual move from the medieval period to the renaissance was accompanied by the dramatic and bloody events of the Protestant Reformation and the Peasant Rebellion as well as warfare with the Teutonic Knights and the Ottoman TurksThere are three parts to this book in Part One Ms Sobel presents how Copernicus came to his view of the cosmos; Part Two is a two act play dramatizing the few months of collaboration between Copernicus and his student Georg Joachim von Lauchen 16 February 1514 – 4 December 1574 known as Rheticus; and Part Three presents the publication of Copernicus’s work just before his death‘With his book virtually complete by 1535 Copernicus lost courage He worried that his laboured calculations and tables would not yield the perfect match with planetary positions that he had aimed to achieve’Understanding the times in which Copernicus lived goes a long way towards explaining why he hesitated to publish his work Copernicus occupied a privileged but relatively precarious position as a canon at Frauenberg cathedral privileged because of the income it afforded him but precarious because of marauding Teutonic knights and the rapidly spreading Lutheran ‘heresy’ Ms Sobel brings aspects of this hesitation to life in the form of a play an imagined dialogue between Copernicus and Rheticus who met Copernicus just four years before Copernicus died‘No one knows what the brilliant fervent young Rheticus said when he accosted the elderly beleaguered Copernicus in Frauenberg It is safe to assume he did not laugh at the idea of the earth in motion’Ms Sobel’s play builds on the history and background established in the earlier chapters of the work and breathes life into Copernicus and Rheticus by allowing both Copernicus and Rheticus to express their views and concerns directly I admit that I did not expect this techniue to be as effective as it was While reading the play isn’t essential to appreciate Copernicus’s life and work it’s interesting to speculate on the content of the conversations between the two menThose who want detailed information about Copernicus’s scientific work will not find it here Readers primarily interested in Copernicus’s life and the period in which he lived should find this book interesting reading Ms Sobel includes some uotes from Copernicus’s writings which share his thoughts directly with us We know that Copernicus documented his work extensively; I wonder how much of this documentation still exists and where?Jennifer Cameron Smith


  10. Nathan Albright Nathan Albright says:

    My feelings about this book and the author's approach are somewhat complicated and ambivalent  On the one hand the book does a good job at presenting the known facts of the life of Copernicus and the way in which he was able to thrive in the morally lax and somewhat corrupt world of pre Tridentine Roman Catholicism  On the other hand this book is an uncomfortable mix of fact and fiction as the author includes an early version of her play And The Sun Stood Still in the middle of this book as her way of bridging the gap between what is known to have happened from documentary evidence and what may have accounted for what happened  Likewise the adulation given to Copernicus for his idea of the earth moving around the sun doesn't account for the fact that the sun moves around the Milky Way at high speeds and the Milky Way itself moves around a center of gravity in the complex relationship of galaxies within the local group and the author does not discuss any of these matters of astrophysics  This is in other words a generally good book with genuinely interesting content but also a book that has a definite and not necessarily benign agenda and an uncomfortable place between fact and fictionThe contents of this book take up a bit than 200 pages and are divided between three parts  The first of the book is a prelude to Copernicus' revolution in astronomy II with a discussion about his early life and family background and his first published work a translation of various amorous writings 1 his brief sketch of his ideas 2 his work in dealing with the leases of abandoned farmlands in the area under the control of the diocese for whom he was a minor religious official 3 his writings on the methods minting money 4 his letter against another astronomy named Werner 5 and his efforts to deal with supply and demand for bread in the area 6  After this comes the rough draft of the two acts of the author's play And The Sun Stood Still II  The rest of the book consists of six chapters that deal with the aftermath of the publication of Copernicus' views III including chapters on the first account by Rheticus who was a somewhat itinerant soul and one accused of pederasty during his teaching career 7 the first edition of Copernicus' work and its prologue by Osiander 8 the publication of the Basel edition 9 various epitomes and tables that were used even as the main idea of the book was rejected by most 10 Galileo's writings on the two systems 11 and an annotated census of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus 12  When reading this book though it is easy for the writer to be filled with a strong sense of mixed emotions about the work  On the one hand it is easy to celebrate Copernicus' achievement in conceiving the heliocentric theory but it is less easy to celebrate the immorality and corruption of his life even as one appreciates his obvious intellect and his interest in a variety of problems relating to economics and science  The same is true of his disciple Rheticus whose persistence in seeking out Copernicus at some risk to himself is noble and worthwhile but whose likely moral failings are impossible to justify in terms of his abuse of wealth and power to gratify his own selfish and abominable lusts  If the author appears to indicate that Copernicus' developments were to lead to a perfect heaven the fact that his accurate planetary charts were mainly used by astrologers and the moral failings of most of the people involved demonstrate that no such moral improvement was happening on earth  Perhaps the author does not think that the moral aspects matter when compared to the advances in scientific understanding but that is not a view I am willing to endorse


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Aperfect heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the cosmos ➵ [Read] ➯ Aperfect heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the cosmos By Dava Sobel ✤ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk By 1514 the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun not the By the How Copernicus PDF/EPUB ì reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun not the earth at the center of our universe and set the earth Aperfect heaven Kindle - spinning among the other planets Over the next two decades Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations while compiling in secret a book length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe For fear of ridicule he refused to publishIn a young German mathematician heaven How Copernicus eBook ´ Georg Joachim Rheticus drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus Two years later the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published in heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the MOBI :Ê as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universeIn her elegant compelling style Dava Sobel chronicles as nobody has the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter Sobel expands the bounds of narration giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement and of the ever present tensions between science and faith.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 273 pages
  • Aperfect heaven How Copernicus revolutionized the cosmos
  • Dava Sobel
  • English
  • 10 May 2016
  • 9780802717931

About the Author: Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel is How Copernicus PDF/EPUB ì an accomplished writer of popular expositions of scientific topics A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science Ms Sobel attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University Aperfect heaven Kindle - of New York at Binghamton in She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath in England and M.