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Giambattista Riccioli, Almagestum novum (Bologna, 1651), Part 1

The New Almagest

In a massive textbook of astronomy, Riccioli adopted Hevelius’ map of the lunar surface, yet he proposed different topographical names. Riccioli adopted an inclusive approach to lunar nomenclature, naming lunar features after astronomers of multiple nationalities and religious affiliations. 

For example, Riccioli, a Jesuit, named a crater after Kepler, who was Lutheran rather than Catholic. Galileo lies to the left of Kepler; Hevelius appears slightly below Galileo. Copernicus is in the upper right. In the center, below, a crater is named for Tycho. Above Tycho is Gauricus, named after Luca Guarico, the Pope’s own astronomer in the generation of Copernicus. Riccioli placed himself far out on the left margin. 

Riccioli’s system of naming succeeded because he included astronomers from across Europe and the Middle East, Protestants and Muslims as well as Catholics. Many of Riccioli’s names remain in use today. In 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, establishing “Tranquility Base” in the Sea of Tranquility, named Mare Tranquilitatis by Riccioli.

Riccioli’s “New Astronomy” was widely used, even in France and England. The OU copy is bound in two volumes; Part 2 was on display in Bizzell Memorial Library.  The two parts comprise “volume 1.”  A third volume, which would have contained a promised “Vol. 2,” was never printed.

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

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Exhibit Gallery OERs

Art and Astronomy Walking Tour

Art and Astronomy Walking Tour

“What was it like when art and astronomy were intertwined?”

Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Lorenzo Sirigatti, Galileo... what joins them together?  Why is Galileo's Starry Messenger (1610) displayed alongside Giorgio Vasari's Lives of Eminent Painters and Sculptors

Galileo’s scientific discoveries occurred in the context of a specific artistic culture which possessed sophisticated mathematical techniques for drawing with linear perspective and handling light and shadow.

Do you know someone who received a telescope for Christmas? There's no better way to begin looking through a telescope than to ponder the way Galileo's professional training as an artist prepared him to make his astronomical discoveries.

In the Galileo’s World exhibition, four galleries took their point of departure from Galileo’s Starry Messenger (Sidereus nuncius, 1610):  
• Galileo and Perspective Drawing  
• Galileo and the Telescope   
• The Moon and the Telescope   
• The Sky at Night

These distinct but overlapping galleries were on physical display in different places and combinations during the course of the Galileo’s World exhibition, most notably at the National Weather Center and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.  Various books from these galleries are part of the current Rotating Display and the "The Sky Tonight reprise" gallery, including Galileo’s Starry Messenger itself.

Use this handout to aid you in you as you walk through the 2017 Rotating Display and The Sky at Night reprise gallery.


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