Date of Creation:
Copernican (heliocentric) universe, Andreas Cellarius, 1660 (1708)
Planisphaerium Copernicanum Sive Systema Universi Totius Creati ex Hypothesi Copernicana in Plano Exhibitum. In: Atlas Coelestis: seu Harmonia Macrocosmica, Andreas Cellarius, 1660 / G. Valk and P. Schenk, 1708. Copperplate engraving.
On the title page of his Harmonia Macrocosmica, Cellarius identifies himself as the headmaster of the Latin School in the Dutch city of Hoorn. His earliest work (1645) was on fortification: the designing of impregnable city walls, and defense systems.
Work on the Harmonia Macrocosmica is believed to have been underway by 1647, with the plan that it be a two-part treatise on cosmography. In 1660 the Amsterdam mapmaker Johannes Janssonius published Cellarius’ one volume, all that was finished, as a supplement to his Atlas Novus.
The displayed chart’s title says that it is “the planisphere of Copernicus, or the system of the entire created universe according to the hypothesis of Copernicus, exhibited in a planar view.”
The principal aspects of Copernicus’ universe are that :
• The motions of celestial objects are uniform, eternal, and either circular or composed of several cycles.
• The center of the universe is near the Sun.
• In order from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth (and the Moon), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and then the fixed stars.
• The Earth has three motions: its daily rotation on its axis, annual orbit around the sun, and its annual tilting of its axis.
• The apparent retrograde motion of planets is due to the Earth’s motion.
• The distance between the Earth and the sun is small compared to the distances to the stars.