Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy

Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy [Reading] ➮ Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy ➶ Johannes Kepler – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Somnium Latin for The Dream is a fantasy written between and by Johannes Kepler in which a student of Tycho Brahe is transported to the Moon by occult forces It presents a detailed imaginative descr Somnium Dream, or Posthumous Work MOBI :Ê Latin for The Dream Dream, or Kindle Ø is a fantasy written betweenandby Johannes Kepler in which a student of Tycho Brahe is transported Somnium: The ePUB í to the Moon by occult forces It presents a detailed imaginative description of how the earth might look when viewed from the The Dream, or PDF ✓ moon, and is considered the first serious scientific treatise on lunar astronomy Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov have referred to it as the first work of science fictionSomnium began as a student dissertation in which Kepler defended the Copernican doctrine of the motion of the Earth, suggesting that an observer on the Moon would find the planet s movements as clearly visible as the Moon s activity is to the Earth s inhabitants Nearlyyears later, Kepler added the dream framework, and after another decade, he drafted a series of explanatory notes reflecting upon his turbulent career and the stages of his intellectual development The book was edited by his heirs, including Jacob Bartsch, after Kepler s death in , and was published posthumously in.


10 thoughts on “Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy

  1. Daniel Daniel says:

    The Goodreads rating system is not really equipped to handle the complexities of capturing my response to this book, so let me add a few additional ratings Story 2 5 Pacing 2 5 Novelty or audacity based on contemporary peers 5 5 Perceived effect on subsequent literature 5 5.Authors like Asimov and Sagan, Carl have allegedly referred to Somnium as the first work of Science Fiction That s pretty high praise, but I can t really argue with their conclusion Kepler goes into obsessive det The Goodreads rating system is not really equipped to handle the complexities of capturing my response to this book, so let me add a few additional ratings Story 2 5 Pacing 2 5 Novelty or audacity based on contemporary peers 5 5 Perceived effect on subsequent literature 5 5.Authors like Asimov and Sagan, Carl have allegedly referred to Somnium as the first work of Science Fiction That s pretty high praise, but I can t really argue with their conclusion Kepler goes into obsessive detail about astronomy from a lunar perspective, including how Earth would look from the moon, how the occlusion of the sun would appear from a lunar perspective, how days and seasons would function if one lived on the moon, the motion of the moon in relation to Earth and the sun, etc.Somnium was published posthumously by Kepler s family, and it makes one wonder whether it was a guilty pleasure kept private by the author to avoid embarrassment and humiliation from his peers, or whether he would have refined the work and published it with pride The ending is incredibly abrupt, and Kepler s notes on the text are obsessive and dense enough to comprise four times the length of the story itself.The writing is certainly tedious and dated enough to dissuade many, but lovers of history or science fiction should find a great deal of satisfaction in experiencing perhaps the first attempt at using fiction to illustrate scientific principles


  2. Nahum Mantra Nahum Mantra says:

    I have just finished some basic research about this book by Kepler Many consider Somnium as the very first piece of science fiction which is utterly wrong Kepler himself got inspired by Lucian s text entitled A true story 2nd century and that already talks about outer space, aliens and interplanetary issues Further Kepler had bought a copy of Plutarch s Face Of The Moon where a figure called Duracotus same character in Somnium is introduced.The form of the text is an interesting one I have just finished some basic research about this book by Kepler Many consider Somnium as the very first piece of science fiction which is utterly wrong Kepler himself got inspired by Lucian s text entitled A true story 2nd century and that already talks about outer space, aliens and interplanetary issues Further Kepler had bought a copy of Plutarch s Face Of The Moon where a figure called Duracotus same character in Somnium is introduced.The form of the text is an interesting one as probably it was written with the intention of sound like a myth tale to perhaps justify his imagination Another hypothesis is that he masked his thoughts in science fiction in order to avoid getting condemned by his views Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600, 9 years before Somnium.Overall is a great historical piece of Lunar treatise and should be in the bookshelves of anyone interested in space archaeology, science fiction and of course Levania


  3. reherrma reherrma says:

    Johannes Kepler 1571 1630 , der neben Galileo Galilei 1564 1642 und Isaac Newton 1643 1727 als einer der bedeutendsten Naturforscher den Neuzeit gilt, hat mit Somnium, einen der ersten, phantastischen Texte in Deutschland geschrieben heute w rde man ihn der SF zuordnen.In seinem 1609 geschriebenen Traum, zeigt er der wissenschaftlichen Welt, wie er sich das Universum vorstellt, ganz besonders ist er vom heliozentrischen Weltbild des Nikolaus Kopernikus berzeugt, ohne das seine Keplerisc Johannes Kepler 1571 1630 , der neben Galileo Galilei 1564 1642 und Isaac Newton 1643 1727 als einer der bedeutendsten Naturforscher den Neuzeit gilt, hat mit Somnium, einen der ersten, phantastischen Texte in Deutschland geschrieben heute w rde man ihn der SF zuordnen.In seinem 1609 geschriebenen Traum, zeigt er der wissenschaftlichen Welt, wie er sich das Universum vorstellt, ganz besonders ist er vom heliozentrischen Weltbild des Nikolaus Kopernikus berzeugt, ohne das seine Keplerischen Gesetze, die er w hrend den Wirren des 30j hrigen Krieges, ver ffentlichte, nicht denkbar gewesen w ren Er folgt in diesem Traum seinen griechischen Vorbildern, Platon und Plutarch, die ihre Spekulationen auch in Form von Traumreisen ver ffentlichten Kepler, der Begr nder der Astrophysik, war einer der ersten, der aufgrund wissenschaftlich mathematischen Denkens eine v llig neue Himmelsmechanik erarbeitete und auch nicht ffentlich davon abr ckte, obwohl die Kleriker aller Coleur dies verlangten wie sie es mit Kopernikus gemacht haben und mit Galileo Galilei zu Keplers Lebzeiten , im Deutschland des 30j hrigen Krieges gab es wohl andere Themen Sein Somnium ist die Vision einer Welt, die harmonisch und sch n ist, weil sie vern nftig ist.Dieses Buch, das auf 20 Seiten den Keplerischen Traum vom Mond und der Astronomie Im Gegensatz zur Astrologie, die Kepler ja auch benutzt hat, um Geld zu verdienen beinhaltet, dazu sind 100 Seiten Fu noten Keplers, um auch den Ungebildeten klarzumachen, was er meint, wird mit einem Essay von Beatrix Langner gekr nt, das einem das Leben und die Lebensumst nde und auch die Rezeption von Somnium erkl rt.F r alle, die mehr ber den Giganten der deutschen Naturwissenschaft wissen wollen und auch den Text des ersten deutschen SF Romans lesen wollen, ist dieses Buch unverzichtbar


  4. Callibso Callibso says:

    Im Jahre 1609 schrieb Johannes Kepler eine kurze Erz hlung ber den Mond, in der ein D mon erkl rt, auf welche Weise D monen Menschen zum Mond bringen und mit welchen astronomischen Verh ltnissen dort zu rechnen ist Diese Erz hlung wird hin und wieder zu den ersten phantastischen Erz hlungen berhaupt gerechnet und deshalb wollte ich dieses Buch lesen Die Erz hlung selbst umfasst nur etwa 20 Seiten, die von Kepler selbst um ca 80 Seiten Fu noten erg nzt wurden Im Buch kommt dazu noch ein wei Im Jahre 1609 schrieb Johannes Kepler eine kurze Erz hlung ber den Mond, in der ein D mon erkl rt, auf welche Weise D monen Menschen zum Mond bringen und mit welchen astronomischen Verh ltnissen dort zu rechnen ist Diese Erz hlung wird hin und wieder zu den ersten phantastischen Erz hlungen berhaupt gerechnet und deshalb wollte ich dieses Buch lesen Die Erz hlung selbst umfasst nur etwa 20 Seiten, die von Kepler selbst um ca 80 Seiten Fu noten erg nzt wurden Im Buch kommt dazu noch ein weiterer Anhang von Johannes Kepler, sowie noch einmal mehr als 100 Seiten, in denen Beatrix Langner die Erz hlung und ihre Wirkungsgeschichte historisch einordnet, sowie auf Leben und Werk Johannes Keplers eingeht Es ist also schon ein erstaunliches Verh ltnis von Originaltext zu Erg nzungen Hinzu kommt noch, dass die Erz hlung ber weite Strecken dazu dient, dem Leser astronomische Gegebenheiten zu erl utern ich fand allerdings schon faszinierend, wie Kepler sich berlegt, wie die Mondbewohner die Erde Volva genannt sehen, wie Sonnen und Erdfinsternisse Hier spielt er eigentlich seine astronomischen Modelle durch und erl utert sie anhand des Mondes An dieser Stelle w re mir brigens lieber gewesen, statt der Keplerschen Fussnoten, moderne Erl uterungen direkt im Text zu haben, damit das Gelesene besser eingeordnet werden kann Man kann die Erz hlung durchaus als phantastisch bezeichnet, sie endet allerdings etwas abrupt, es gibt keine Handlung im eigentlichen Sinne und nat rlich ist auch alles nur getr umt, f r mich ist sie ein astronomischer Lehrtext Dies ist etwas Sch nes f r Leser, die an Astronomie und Johannes Kepler sehr interessiert sind


  5. Ed Erwin Ed Erwin says:

    Surprisingly interesting, at least to me Kepler describes what astronomy would be like as seen from the moon What would the motion of the Earth, the other planets, the sun and the stars look like from different places on the moon What would eclipses look like Would there be seasons I found it fascinating I would prefer an animated video, but Kepler apparently didn t know how to make one of those.As I understand it, he originally presented this work privately to other scientists without a f Surprisingly interesting, at least to me Kepler describes what astronomy would be like as seen from the moon What would the motion of the Earth, the other planets, the sun and the stars look like from different places on the moon What would eclipses look like Would there be seasons I found it fascinating I would prefer an animated video, but Kepler apparently didn t know how to make one of those.As I understand it, he originally presented this work privately to other scientists without a framing story Years later he added a prelude to put himself at arms length from the heretical ideas that could have got him killed So he describes it first as a dream, and then even inside the dream it is a second hand story told by some guy he met who was transported to the moon by a demon Even so it wasn t published until he was safely dead.You can call this Science Fiction if you want, but I m shelving this as Science because the astronomy is the real point The framing story is irrelevant to the main content


  6. Ned Hanlon Ned Hanlon says:

    Absolutely fascinating book I really don t think I ve ever read anything quite like it Apparently, many consider to be the first science fiction ever written, and certainly that makes quite a bit of sense I would, however,properly call it a work of fiction science Whereas science fiction as we know it today uses science to tell a story, it seems that Kepler is using a story to explain science This is a book that is going to be difficult to fully appreciate for just about anyone who Absolutely fascinating book I really don t think I ve ever read anything quite like it Apparently, many consider to be the first science fiction ever written, and certainly that makes quite a bit of sense I would, however,properly call it a work of fiction science Whereas science fiction as we know it today uses science to tell a story, it seems that Kepler is using a story to explain science This is a book that is going to be difficult to fully appreciate for just about anyone who reads it For an astronomer the wild conjecture of extraterrestrial life and the dream daemon trip to Mars could be frustratingly un imperical Meanwhile for a layman the apparently very accurate mathematical calculations are excessive and at times indecipherable And yet it makes both think about the world differently By considering how a resident of Mars or Levania as they know it sees their place in the universe, we must reconsider our own place in it.Recommended read for everyone and its very short so you have no excuse


  7. Fer Fer says:

    Uma obra de leitura complexa e pouco gratificante que tem valor na sua forma de alegoria da vida e carreira cient fica do pr prio Kepler O Sonho serve como uma janela aberta para a mente dum astr nomo do s culo XVI, os seus conflitos pessoais com outros cient ficos, a sua rela o com a mitologia e as supersti es e tamb m com a realidade geopol tica da poca O Sonho permite fixar a obra kepleriana num contexto que vai mais al das equa es da elipse O Johannes Kepler que escreve esta obra dei Uma obra de leitura complexa e pouco gratificante que tem valor na sua forma de alegoria da vida e carreira cient fica do pr prio Kepler O Sonho serve como uma janela aberta para a mente dum astr nomo do s culo XVI, os seus conflitos pessoais com outros cient ficos, a sua rela o com a mitologia e as supersti es e tamb m com a realidade geopol tica da poca O Sonho permite fixar a obra kepleriana num contexto que vai mais al das equa es da elipse O Johannes Kepler que escreve esta obra deixa cair piadas algumas extremadamente eruditas e outras at vulgares que o retratam como um ser humano vital e n o como uma entidade de ci ncia pura pr prio das mitologias fundacionais da revolu o cient fica O relato ganha ainda mais vida quando lemos as mais de 200 notas de fim que Kepler foi refazendo durante a sua vida, explicando e expandindo o curto texto do relato.Junto todo isto podemos desfrutar duma tradu o cuidada e original, marca da editora, e umas notas de p que clarificam mais ainda as divaga es do autor original.Repito que a obra n o de leitura f cil nem para o p blico ocasional nem para o mais ado ado, mas sim uma verdadeira joia para quem estiver interessadx na hist ria da ci ncia, a cosmologia proto cient fica e o ambiente cultural no ocaso de s culo XVI


  8. Ximena Jiménez Ximena Jiménez says:

    El pr logo a cargo de Francisco Socas de la edici n de la Universidad de Huelva me parece, hasta el momento, insuperable.


  9. Clare Clare says:

    Friends, do you have a moment to talk about 17th century astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler He has been wronged by history, and I aim to be the fan girl to set the record straight.If you learned about early modern science the way I did growing up, you primarily learned about Galileo Galilei and his telescope aided astronomical discoveries that overturned the geocentric model of the solar system and brought us into aenlightened age Then you skipped straight on to Sir Issac Newto Friends, do you have a moment to talk about 17th century astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler He has been wronged by history, and I aim to be the fan girl to set the record straight.If you learned about early modern science the way I did growing up, you primarily learned about Galileo Galilei and his telescope aided astronomical discoveries that overturned the geocentric model of the solar system and brought us into aenlightened age Then you skipped straight on to Sir Issac Newton to talk about gravity But neither Galileo s discoveries nor Newton s theory of universal gravitation were possible without Johannes Kepler Some facts Kepler described the terrain of the moon using a combination of naked eye observations and pure a priori reasoning before Galileo observed the moon s surface through his telescope, confirming many of Kepler s conclusions Kepler s ideas about the moon were wildly radical for the time The official view of the universe supported by the Catholic and Lutheran churches described heavenly bodies as perfect spheres embedded in other, perfect crystalline spheres, with Earth at the center This view of the universe was a priori ism run amok and leveraged towards maintaining faith, but regardless, describing the moon as a world with imperfections like mountains, and valleys, and, perhaps, oceans and rivers was next to heresy How is Earth unique in God s creation if the universe is full of innumerable worlds Yet this is what Kepler proposed before Galileo s confirmation Kepler developed a conception of gravity 80 years before Newton, describing it as a permeating force similar to magnetism He was also the first person to use inertia in its modern sense This was no small feat During Kepler s time, Aristotelian type theories prevailed, enforced by the Catholic and Lutheran churches which saw Aristotelianism ascompatible with biblical literalism These theories viewed gravity as the result of matter s propensity to seek its pre ordained place in the world It was highly teleological and relied on a fundamentally different conception of space, matter, and force To break with this view was an act of unspeakable intellectual creativity And Newton himself rightly credited Kepler for this genius While Galileo usually gets the praise for overturning the geocentric model of the solar system, it was Kepler who did the heavy lifting by calculating the orbit of Mars using Tycho Brahe s painstaking observations Kepler s entire life s work, including Somnium, probably didto establish the heliocentric model of the solar system than any number of contributions made by any other person since Copernicus Why Because he had the proverbial receipts His observations and calculations were undeniable Butthan pure empiricism or pure reason, his writing was able to help people imagine other possibilities for the universe.And here begins my review of Somnium.This book is the most prescient work of fiction I have ever read It s wildly creative, and, while fundamentally wrong on some counts the moon, for instance, is decidedly not inhabited , what s amazing is all the ways in which it s right.For instance, solar radiation In Kepler s enumerations of the dangers of a voyage to the moon, he lists solar radiation, a concept that just didn t exist in his time He reasoned two things 1 light is always associated with heat and 2 as you gain elevation, the atmosphere thins He put these two ideas together to realize that if you left Earth s atmosphere, you d be directly exposed to unmitigated solar radiation, which would at least burn you, if not kill you outright What s evenfascinating is that he lists cold as another danger This is deeply counterintuitive if you believe that burns from a source of heat are a danger Nevertheless, he reasoned that Earth s atmosphere was acting as a blanket retaining ambient heat, so if you loose the conductive capacity of the atmosphere, you lose ambient heat.Other insights He believed that Earth s atmosphere was being held in place by gravity He believed that gravity was a force that diminished with distance and was related to the mass of an object So as you move away from a body with mass, you leave its atmosphere He consequently prescribed a breathing aid for interplanetary travelers He believed that the tides of Earth s oceans were caused by the gravitational pull of the moon He was the first person to discover this and he was ridiculed Others argued that if the moon was causing the tides through attraction, why did a high tide occur when the moon was on the opposite side of the planet Kepler responded that an equal and opposite reaction could be expected, that once the moon passed, the ocean would rebound back from it s unnaturally high position to form a bulge on the back side of the planet due to the inertia of the water itself he was, of course, proved right Kepler also believed that the moon s gravity would need to be taken into account when plotting the course of an interplanetary journey the very first person to describe interplanetary trajectory calculations He believed that to escape Earth s gravity, you d need exceptional thrust which he described as a cannon a la Jules Verne 200 years later He noted that the forces caused by such acceleration would wreck havoc on human anatomy, so he prescribed special force dampening harnesses and sedatives to control heart rate He recognized that there would be a hypothetical neutral point in the gravitational pull between the Earth and the moon, so things would float in space He recognized you d need breaking thrusters to counter the moon s gravity on a descent to the surface He understood that gravity would be weaker on the moon and that that would translate into a thinner atmosphere He was wrong about the moon having an atmosphere, but so was pretty much everyone before the 20th century Meanwhile he used his understanding of gravity to shape the type of life he thought might exist on the moon, saying that such life needed to be able to extract oxygen from water to avoid relying on the thin atmosphere and that life would grow very large due to the weak gravity Moon creatures would also live in caves and canals to avoid exposure to solar radiation and temperature extremes driven by the moon s exceptionally long days and nights He was wrong in believing the moon had oceans, but what s interesting is that he realized that Earth s gravitational pull on the moon would result in the earth side face beingcovered in water, explaining the apparently large oceans on the earth side face He also envisioned what the heavens would look like from the moon, describing how much of the sky would appear to go retrograde as the moon completed its back side orbit around the earth, and how navigation on the moon s surface could be aided by reference to Earth s fixed position in the sky The moon s inhabitants meanwhile would have a very different conception of time, given their days last a full month in Earth terms.I truly don t understand how Kepler reasoned all this out He wasn t building from anything, except maybe Plutarch and a smattering of other ancient Greeks and Romans It would be like writing about time travel today from nothingthan a handful of philosophy and math classes, and having the theoretical physics of it be conceptually correct, even though it contradicts our current standard model.Yet, he did And in describing all of this, Kepler gave people a way of imagining what life would look like from the moon It helped them see the moon as a place in and of itself, and it helped people understand that our perspective on everything, heavens included, is contingent on our human perspective from Earth How differently might things look if we were to free ourselves from those constraints This is the power of science fiction Speculation Shifts in perspective, and though them, new possibilities arising from obscurity It s powerful Necessary even As Thomas Kuhn described in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and as Max Jammer has described in his groundbreaking works, all of scientific pursuit is human endeavor, bounded by human phenomenology and human psychology How then can we break out of old paradigms to explore new possibilities Though creativity and imagination Though people uncowed, unconstrained by social norms and, in Kepler s and Galileo s case, by direct threats to life and limb And literature is a vehicle that can be used to explore controversial ideas in safe, perhaps subversive, ways.However writing Somnium was not safe for Kepler The work was written as an allegory in order to make itpalatable, but unfortunately Kepler s imagined journey to the moon was taken with his mother, who he described as a herbalist capable of speaking with the spirits who inhabit the wild northern regions of Iceland Accordingly, word of mouth accounts of the then unpublished story were used as evidence in charging Kepler s mother with witchcraft, and she was imprisoned Kepler spent an entire year painstakingly constructing a legal defense to secure his mother s release, which relied on finding scientific explanations for all the various charges against her e.g cows not giving milk, a pain in a child s arm, etc., etc Though his mother was released, she ultimately died as a result from her imprisonment.The price of a dream that would ultimately launch humanity on its first steps to the stars was the life of an innocent woman It was a price that rocked Kepler to the core.In reading Kepler s various works, he was never boastful He was careful, and particularly after the death of his mother, he was always aware of the political and physical dangers of the ideas he proposed While Galileo writes in grandiose terms, Kepler often comes across world weary I believe he was weary of the world that killed his mother And yet, in spite of everything, what s most moving about Kepler s writing is the pure joy in the beauty of the universe and all its mysteries Joy and love and boundless possibility.________________ Kepler fuses fantasy and science fiction in this work He writes that witches, old women accustomed to riding broomsticks over the wild barrens in the depth of night, are the perfect, hardy travelers for a voyage to the moon He writes that spirits know the way to the moon indeed the moon is where spirits live The way to the moon is through tunnels of shadow, a very fae turn of phrase, though he literally means that you have to travel in the cone of shadow made by the moon or earth blocking the sun s powerful solar radiation So you either have to spiral outward from earth, always saying night side while traveling upwards from earth s surface until you reach the plane on which the moon travels, at which point, if you ve plotted your course correctly, the moon will come to meet you once you ve gained sufficient elevation OR you have to do the entire journey in the course of an eclipse Incidentally, this is why eclipses are bad luck they are opening the shadow tunnels between the earth and the moon, allowing spirits to invade our world.It s perfect Just perfect


  10. Brenton Brenton says:

    Somnium, or The Dream, was written by German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler early in the 17th Century as a serious lunar study and declaration of support for Copernican astronomy disguised as a work of fiction The Copernican model, placing the sun at the center of the solar system, was at that point in history facing great contention from the Church, and Kepler thought it prudent to wreath his astronomical observations in the guise of a fantastical occult tale and to then attempt Somnium, or The Dream, was written by German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler early in the 17th Century as a serious lunar study and declaration of support for Copernican astronomy disguised as a work of fiction The Copernican model, placing the sun at the center of the solar system, was at that point in history facing great contention from the Church, and Kepler thought it prudent to wreath his astronomical observations in the guise of a fantastical occult tale and to then attempt to circulate his book only to friends and other astronomers.Somnium is one of a handful of older works I am currently tracking down in an effort to explore the genesis and development of science fiction literature The translation from the original Latin felt solid, and this printing was full of helpful footnotes and scholarship After having read a few early utopias to get things started, I have to say that THIS is where I start to get excited when man first starts to imagine just what may be up There, and how mankind may go about getting up There It is this exploratory notion, mixed with imagination, that I most enjoy about SF, and Kepler seems to be the true starting point indeed, Sagan and Asimov both had stated that they considered Somnium to be the first true SF book.Kepler studied lunar motion in detail and his mathematical abilities allowed him to work out the pure physics involved in traveling from the Earth to the Moon He judiciously declined to speculate on any mechanical means of achieving this travel, acknowledging that mankind would likely not progress to such a state of ability until long after his own lifetime, but the fact that he believed we would eventually arrive there, that our aspirations to explore would one day take us to the heavens, generates a great amount of admiration within me.Kepler s investigation of the lunar surface was also exhaustive and in his book he imagined what sort of lifeforms one might find on the moon imaginings based on false presumptions, yes, but again, it is that meeting of exploration and imagination that is so exciting to me, and I loved reading this book


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *