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Kircher's book on optics, 1646

Kircher's book on optics, 1646

V700/0385

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Kircher's book on optics. Title page of Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae (1646, The Great Art of Light and Darkness), by the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680). This book, about optics and magic lantern technology, included observations of the Sun. The inscriptions on this title page are in Latin. Mythological human, animal and astrological figures represent Day (left) and Night (right), with the Sun and Moon and Stars shown. Sunlight is reflecting from the shield of the Moon. The pictorial dedication (lower centre) shows Archduke Ferdinand, son of Kircher's patron, the Holy Roman Emperor.

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