Epicycles of Moon's orbit, 1708

Epicycles of Moon's orbit, 1708

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This image is part of the sequence Space: Harmonica Macrocosmica cosmography

Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Epicycles of Moon's orbit. This is plate 18 from the 1708 edition of the star atlas 'Harmonica Macrocosmica' by the Dutch-German mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius (1596-1665). It shows eight epicycles for the Moon's orbit round the Earth. Epicycles were mathematical constructs used to explain geocentric orbits before heliocentric models simplified the calculations. Insets (lower right and left) show the crescent, new and full Moon. 'Harmonica Macrocosmica', first published in 1660, had 30 colour plates with Latin text. This edition was published in Amsterdam by Petrus Schenk and Gerard Valk.

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