Astronomia Nova - Background

Background

Prior to Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed in 1543 that the Earth and other planets orbit the Sun. The Copernican model of the solar system was regarded as a device to explain the observed positions of the planets rather than a physical description.

Kepler sought for and proposed physical causes for planetary motion. His work is primarily based on the research of his mentor, Tycho Brahe. The two, though close in their work, had a tumultuous relationship. Regardless, on his deathbed, Brahe asked Kepler to make sure that he did not “die in vain,” and to continue the development of his Tychonic system. Kepler would instead write the Astronomia nova, in which he rejects the Tychonic system, as well as the Ptolemaic system and the Copernican system. Some scholars have speculated that Kepler’s dislike for Brahe may have had a hand in his rejection of the Tychonic system and formation of a new one.

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