"The story of the Copernican revolution is usually summed up as a single moment in Western civilisation when science overturned religion, and people started to replace the Bible’s account of the world around them with theories based on physical observations.
But, as Stuart Clark shows in this skilful and fascinating fictional account of Kepler’s and Galileo’s discoveries, the reality of what happened was a lot more complex than a simple dichotomy of science vs. religion. To start with, religion itself was at war; the Reformation triggered battles for power across Europe, and the Catholic Church was only too aware that a new and better understanding of the natural world could help them gain the upper hand. The Church knew it couldn’t risk being left behind and becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern world. And it was obvious to everyone that the old Aristotelian model of fixed spheres centred on the Earth just didn’t work. But how to dismantle that apparatus and set up a new model, while at the same time keeping hold of the power structures that the old model supported? ..."
You can read the full review here. Pippa is a fiction writer too and you can read one of her astronomy short stories here.
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RT @abbybeall: astronomy people - is there anywhere i can find a map that shows where all the exoplanets/planetary systems we've found so f…