April 25, 1997

If it were a star, then the immutable heavens had changed, and the basic contrast between the superlunary region and the corruptible earth was in question. If it were a star, the earth might more easily be conceived as a planet, for the transitory character of terrestrial affairs would now have been discovered in the heavens as well. Brahe and the best of his contemporaries did conclude that the visitor was a star. Observations like the one illustrated in figure 39 indicated that it could not be located below the sphere of the moon or even close to the sublunary region. Probably it was among the stars for it was observed to move with them. Another cause for cosmological upheaval had been discovered.

The Copernican Revolution, Thomas Kuhn p. 206-207.

The new star of 1572 was a super nova.
What were the arguments about it the 16th Century?

The class now breaks into groups with large paper to draw a picture of how the parallax would be used to decide this question. The pictures will be posted during discussion.

Discussion Questions: