By Patrick Moore

All these nagging questions you could have concerning the universe are responded the following, like Is there a dismal part to the Moon? What occurs whilst a comet hits the sunlight? Do the Martian canals have any water in them? Is the moon scorching within? What could occur if the solar have been to collide with a black gap? Mars has polar ice caps: may polar bears survive Mars? If i'll return to the time of the dinosaurs, might the sky glance just like it does this day? and many extra.

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Modern calculations compared with the almanacs of his day show this was true in 1504. Two of 170 Copernicus’s records of the positions of Mars 1510 from 1512 are preserved in his great book, 210 Revolutions. Mars goes into retrograde motion every 780 1512 days—that is, slightly more than two years. Each 260 time, the retrogression is approximately 55 degrees farther around the zodiac, the band of T In this diagram of the retrogressions of Mars from 1504 to 1521, the horizontal lines represent small sections of the ecliptic circle— the exact path of the sun across the sky, which the planets follow approximately—where Mars’s retrograde motion took place.

Artists portrayed their subjects in scenes that resembled nature much more closely than had those of earlier centuries. The pope even consulted with the painter Michelangelo on the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica, a center for the Catholic Church in Rome. Alexander VI’s exorbitant spending of funds that were extracted from faithful Christians would soon lead to calls for reform of the church, especially in Germany, where a Catholic monk, Martin Luther, was leading the reform movement. The Germans were also not at all pleased by the wealth that this profligate pope squandered on his text continues on page 48 45 Nicolaus Copernicus THE MYTH OF EPICYCLES-ON-EPICYCLES n the centuries immediately preceding Copernicus, the most common way to calculate the positions of planets was to use the Alfonsine Tables.

At the same time, Copernicus continued to work through Regiomontanus’s Epitome of the Almagest. The Epitome is both a summary and an analysis of Ptolemy’s Almagest. In some places, Regiomontanus provided clearer explanations than Ptolemy had. The Epitome follows the same structure as the Almagest; each is composed of 13 books. When Copernicus got to Book 12, he found that Ptolemy had This rare manuscript in Copernicus’s handwriting shows the intermediate stage of the calculations that led to his heliocentric system.

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