AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 25. HAD II: Celebrating Other Centennials
Historical, Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Marquette

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[25.01] Thomas Digges and Giordano Bruno: 400 Years of Plurality of Worlds

C.J. Corbally (Vatican Observatory)

Some four hundred years ago was the fascinating era when modern astronomy began. Its ``beginning" came with the establishment of the heliocentric universe in people's minds. From Nicolaus Copernicus, through Thomas Digges, to Giordano Bruno we can trace how the Copernican system progressed to the idea of an infinite universe, and how this gave birth to a new tradition in thinking about the plurality of worlds. While this progression does not appear to have been by direct encounter between the principal players, the vision of one was incorporated into the thought of the next. Such progression in our understanding of the universe continues today -- and presumably tomorrow.

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