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Title: Assessment of early-modern observations of comets and supernovae : focus on pre-telescopic European astrometric and physical data
Author: Green, Daniel W. E.
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2004
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The two-century period prior to the publication of Newton's Principia (first edition 1687; third edition 1726) was most important in terms of the radical changes that occurred in the observation, perception, and understanding of celestial objects that in turn spurred Newton to deduce his laws of gravitation and motion. Surprisingly, much of the available observational data embedded in contemporary texts from that two-century period has remained unused by modern astronomers, and this thesis (a) describes large amounts of data that were found and reanalyzed during the course of this Ph.D. research project, (b) places these data and their resulting analyses in context with the astronomy of the early-modern era, and (c) shows how modern astronomers and historians benefit from such information. The emphasis is placed here on west-European observations, as observations made elsewhere (eastern Europe, Asia) were isolated (not communicated for convenient rapid use by contemporary astronomers elsewhere) and did not develop or employ the level of precision that was utilized by western European astronomers through the extensive discussions that developed from correspondence and publication in Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available