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Composition of Galileo's Letter to Christina. Galileo instructed neither to hold nor defend the heliocentric hypothesis. Publication of Kepler's Harmonice mundi. Galileo's friend and supporter Cardinal Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII. Galileo publishes his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.

Galileo forced to abjure and sentenced to life imprisonment; immediately commuted to permanent house arrest under surveillance. Publication of René Descartes' Le discours de la méthode pour bien conduire sa raison et chercher la vérité dans les sciences (Discourse on the method of rightly conducting reason and seeking truth in the sciences).

Publication of The Discovery of a New World: or, a Discourse tending to prove, that it is probable there may be another habitable World in the Moon. John Wilkins, a major figure in the establishment of the Royal Society of London and its first secretary, guesses that there are some lunar inhabitants, even if there was no direct evidence. Why else would Providence have furnished the Moon with all the conveniences of habitation shared by the Earth?

Death of Galileo and birth of Newton. Isaac Newton. English mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and natural philosopher. Found the natural laws binding together the physical world and inspired others to search for natural laws in other realms, including but by no means limited to politics and economics.

Gottfried Leibniz. German mathematician. Disputed Newton for priority in the invention of the calculus and criticized theological implications of Newton's cosmology.

Edmond Halley. Predicted the return of his eponymous comet and was instrumental in the publication of Newton's Principia.

Bernard Fontenelle. French astronomer, mathematician, and writer, of a book, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, making science accessible to an educated but nonspecialized public and opening a market for women readers.

While musing about apples falling, a flash of insight, so the legend goes, gave Newton the idea of universal gravitation.

Samuel Colvil in The Whigs Supplication describes, as seen through a telescope, lunar inhabitants engaging in all the vices of Earth's society. August 1684 Edmond Halley visits Newton and asks him what he thought the curve would be that would be described by the planets, supposing the force of attraction towards the Sun was the reciprocal to the square of their distances from the Sun. November 1684 Newton sends Halley a nine page essay, De motu corporum in gyrum (On the Motion of Bodies in an Orbit).

Bernard Fontenelle publishes his Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds). The book was an instant best-seller, made it onto the Catholic index of prohibited books, and continues to be read today. Publication of one of the most influential and important books ever written, Newton's Philoso-phiae naturalis principia mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). a.d 1695. Edmond Halley realizes that the comets of 1531,

1607, and 1682 had similar orbits, and he predicts the return of this comet in 1758.

1698—1759 Pierre Maupertuis. French mathematician and physicist. He led an expedition to Lapland that measured flattening of the Earth toward the poles, as predicted by Isaac Newton, not flattening at the equator as predicted by Cartesians.

1701—1783 Leonhard Euler. Swiss mathematician. He helped develop necessary mathematical techniques to compute perturbation effects. First, he applied them to the Moon, and then, in 1748, to Jupiter and Saturn. The French Académie des Sciences' prize topic for 1748 called for an explanation of the inequalities of motion that Jupiter and Saturn appeared to cause in each other's motions, their observed motions having been found inexplicable solely on the basis of Kepler's laws and an inverse-square force of gravity. Euler extended his analysis of the interaction of Jupiter and Saturn in another prize essay, in 1752.

1718 Edmond Halley announces that a comparison of stellar positions in his day with those measured

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