Friday, 29 May 2020

silesian pallas

Polyglot, polymath and one of the most important contributors to stellar cataloguing, star charts and calculating the course of the planets of the early modern era, Maria Cunitz was born in present-day Wołów on this day circa 1610 (†1664).
Her work Urania propitia—generous Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, corrected and simplified the logarithmic tables of Johannes Kepler—which while serving purely for astrological forecasts were rooted wholly in astronomical observation and calculations—and included sections for tabulating future solar and lunar eclipses, computing the mean motion of astral bodies across the firmament and the use of stars for navigation. Aside from the more accessible presentation of methodology, the book’s publication in Latin and German gave it a far wider readership and helped establish German as language of the sciences.