Medieval Astronomy

Medieval Astronomy from Melk Abbey

Discovered by accident, this manuscript page provides graphical insight to astronomy in
medieval times, before the Renaissance and the influence of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho de Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo.
The intriguing page is from lecture notes on astronomy compiled by the monk Magister Wolfgang de Styria before the year 1490 at Melk Abbey in Austria.
The top panels clearly illustrate the necessary geometry for a lunar (left) and solar eclipse in the Earth-centered
Ptolemaic system.
At lower left is a diagram of thePtolemaic view of the solar system and at the lower right is a chart to calculate thedate of Easter Sunday in theJulian calendar.
Text at the upper right explains themovementof the planets according to the Ptolemaic system.
The actual manuscript page is on view at historicMelk Abbey as part of aspecial exhibition during the International Year of Astronomy.

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