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2020-02-13 15:44:25
ODIERNA, Giovanni Battista
De systemate orbis cometici de que admirandis coeli characteribus, opuscula duo, in quorum primo cometarum causae disquiruuntur, & explicantur. In secondo vero quid, quales quotue sint stellae luminosae; nebulosae; necnon, & occultae, manifestantur, & rerem caelestium studiosis commendantur .
Palermo, Nicolai Bua, 1654. THE FIRST STUDY OF NEBULAE WITH FINE WOODCUTS. 4to [21.0 x 15.0 cm], 2 parts in one vol., (viii) pp., 102 pp., 1 f. blank; (iv) pp., 60 pp., (8) pp. including terminal blank, with 39 white-on-black woodcuts in text (12 full-page, 14 half-page, and 13 quarter-page). Bound in contemporary limp vellum. Binding well preserved. A few minor spots, blindstamp on front flyleaf; inscription on title (crossed through) Fra Giulio Amico J M C and signature of same on f. 4v.; 18th-century astronomical annotations on pastedowns. A very clean, crisp copy. First edition of this exceptionally rare and remarkable book on nebulae, the first of its kind, illustrated with striking white-on-black woodcuts. It is also a work of profound cosmological speculation placing it at the forefront of astronomical thought in the 17th century. Giovanni Battista Odierna (1597 1660) suggests in this work that all nebulae are composed of stars or stellar matter and that the centre of the Universe may lie far outside the solar system. Odierna was a Sicilian priest and disciple of Galileo who presented him with a telescope of medium focal length. Inspired by Galileo s Sidereus nuncius, he began a systematic investigation of nebular objects, the first of its kind. This study had not been pursued by other astronomers for various reasons, among them the emphasis on cataloguing fixed stars, the inadequacies of early telescopes for viewing objects of lower surface brightness, and finally because the systematic observations of nebulae would have inevitably called for a cosmological theory o … [Click Below for Full Description]
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