orbis (sphaera), circulus, via, iter, orbita} -- zur terminologischen Kennzeichnung des wesentlichsten Paradigmawechsels in der Astronomie durch Johannes Kepler; orbis (sphaera), circulus, via, iter, orbita} -- zur terminologischen Kennzeichnung des wesentlichsten Paradigmawechsels in der Astronomie durch Johannes Kepler; orbis (sphaera), circulus, via, iter, orbita -- on the terminological identification of the essential paradigm change in astronomy by Johannes Kepler.
The use of modern terminology hinders to understand historical astronomical texts and often misleads the reader. Therefore, this study tries to reconstruct the ideas of the way the planets seem to move against the sphere of fixed stars in a non-teleological manner, that means in the original view and with original terms. The study proceeds historically and explains:(1) Aristotle's system of homocentric spheres being hollow spheres of ether turning equally round the earth in the centre of the world, a number of which makes the apparatus of the movement of a planet which produces its apparently unequal motion. (2) Ptolemy's reductionistic system of geometric circles (eccentric deferents, epicycles etc.), which are indeed great circles on non-concentric hollow spheres, whereupon they turn around equally. The space which they take up in all is surrounded by an inner and an outer concentric spherical surface and makes the sphere of the planet. (3) John's of Sacrobosco transferring of the geometric astronomy to the Latin of Middle Ages and the commentators' precision of the Greek-Latin terms. (4) The tradition of the "Theorica planetarum" which makes this geometry physics by allotting every partial moving to a partial material hollow sphere (with spherical surfaces of different centricity) or full sphere of an epicycle (orbes particulares or partialis), a number of which makes the entire sphere of each planet (orbis totalis or totus). - Copernicus also stood within this tradition, except that his entire spheres differ from the earlier ones in size or thickness (because he eliminated the partly very big synodic epicycles and allocated their effect as a mere parallactic one to the yearly moving of the earth) and in the great intervening spaces between each other (a result of measuring the true distances of the planets on the basis of these parallactic effects). (5) Tycho Brahe's refutation of the unchangingness and unpermeableness and therefore solidity of all etherial spheres, what had been the fundamental condition for creating the indirect ways of the planets in all astronomical systems with partial or entire spheres engaging one another. It was particularly Kepler who recognizes that as a result celestial physics requires a complete change. (6) Kepler's replacement of celestial physics. He did not think any more that the apparent (unequal) way of a planet indirectly results from the combination of several equal movements of etherial partial and entire spheres. His planets move their true and real way caused directly by the joint effect of two corporal forces moving the planets both around the sun and to and from it, which latter makes the planet's speed indeed naturally unequal. For this "real way" he coins in late 1604 the specific term "orbita" (the modern "orbit", the German "Bahn". This term then little by little replaced the former non-specific, general description of the apparent or real way (as "via, iter, ambitus, circulus, circuitus" etc.), and Kepler used it increasingly from its introduction (initially frequently joined to a describing definition of this "way") up to the exclusive use in the fifth book of the "Epitome", after this "orbita" had changed its shape from a perfect eccentric circle to an oval and finally an elliptic form. This way Kepler marks the paradigm change of astronomy caused by himself also terminologically.
Acta Historica Astronomiae
- Pub Date:
- August 2011