A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the by Dava Sobel PDF

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By Dava Sobel

ISBN-10: 0802717934

ISBN-13: 9780802717931

By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an preliminary define of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied logic and bought knowledge to put the solar, now not the earth, on the middle of our universe, and set the earth spinning one of the different planets. Over the subsequent 20 years, Copernicus increased his conception via thousands of observations, whereas compiling in mystery a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists all through Europe. For worry of ridicule, he refused to publish.

In 1539, a tender German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn via rumors of a revolution to rival the non secular upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to search out Copernicus. years later, the Protestant formative years took depart of his getting older Catholic mentor and organized to have Copernicus's manuscript released, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the ebook that eternally replaced humankind's position within the universe.

In her dependent, compelling type, Dava Sobel chronicles, as not anyone has, the conflicting personalities and awesome discoveries that formed the Copernican Revolution. on the middle of the e-book is her play And the sunlight Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's fight to persuade Copernicus to enable his manuscript see the sunshine of day. As she accomplished along with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the boundaries of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of medical success, and of the ever present tensions among technological know-how and faith.

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Additional info for A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos

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Tides cannot move around the Earth unhindered because the continents get in the way. In effect, the continents, in their daily rotation on the Earth's axis, run into a mass of water piled up by the tide twice a day. Every time a collision between water and continent takes place, the Earth's rotation is slowed a tiny amount. 002 second a century as a result), but the net result is that a small portion of the Earth's rotational energy is transferred to the Earth's surface. 7 x 10 1 2 watts, but eventually, some billions of years from now, the tides will bring the Earth's rotation to a stop.

In 1993 we had a second and much bigger Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, with more complex declarations. But did things improve between 1972 and 1993? Did actions match words? At the period when Christ was supposed to have been born, we think there were about 200 million humans on our planet. Today, we add to that population every two years. We are now approaching 6 billion and, barring almost unthinkable catastrophes, human population will reach 10 billion during the next century. People speak of potential catastrophes, but for the 2 billion or so who today suffer from extreme malnutrition, or the 40,000 young children who die each day, the catastrophe is now.

The Magellan mission is one of the greatest triumphs of the space age, and Venus is now revealed for what it is—a planet with an incredibly hostile environment, a planet of vast volcanic plains and mountains higher than Mount Everest, a planet so unlike the Earth that we now have to ask how two planets of about the same size and density could be so close in space and yet be so different. A complete answer to the question cannot, as yet, be given, but part of the answer lies in the biosphere. On the Earth, plants and other organisms in the biosphere remove carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by volcanoes.

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A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel

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