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Published December 8, 2011 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Urania Propitia, Tabulae Rudophinae faciles redditae a Maria Cunitia Beneficent Urania, the Adaptation of the Rudolphine Tables by Maria Cunitz


Maria Cunitz's Beneficent Urania, published in 1650, has the distinction of being the earliest surviving scientific work by a woman on the highest technical level of its age, for its purpose was to provide solutions to difficulties in the most advanced science of the age, the mathematical astronomy of Kepler's Rudolphine Tables. Her work is at once original and the product of a long history. In 1577 Tycho Brahe began his program of observations while constructing the Castle of Uraniborg on the island of Hven in the Danish Sound, granted him by King Frederick II, with the object of a complete reform of astronomy, to produce new and accurate tables of the motions of the sun, moon, and planets, which he had envisioned years earlier. The observations, by Tycho and his many assistants, with the finest and largest new instruments, exceeding all previous observations in quality and quantity, many, many thousands, continued through twenty years on Hven, two years of travel through Germany, and, after Tycho entered the service of Rudolph II in 1599, at Prague and the estate of Benatky granted him by the Emperor.

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. First Online: 08 December 2011.

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