Astronomy and Astronomers at the Worth Library

Jan Luyts, Astronomica institutio (Utrecht, 1692)

This frontispiece from Jan Luyts’s Astronomica institutio (Utrecht, 1692) is a group portrait of famous astronomers. Seated around Hipparchus, the most famous astronomer of ancient Greece, who in his right hand holds an armillary sphere indicating the importance of observation and with his left points to the written text, the figures read as a who’s who of astronomy. On the extreme right stands Ptolemy, holding a representation of his Ptolemaic system in one hand and no doubt a tome of Aristotle in the other; next to him is Nicholas Copernicus, represented by the centrality of the Sun in the model which he is holding; to his right stands the Tycho Brahe, holding a geo-heliocentric model; on the left of the picture stands Galileo Galilei holding a telescope in his right hand, while behind him the elegant figure of Johannes Hevelius can be seen holding a slightly more intricate telescope. The contributions of these astronomers and two men missing from the group, Johannes Kepler and Sir Isaac Newton, who were central to Worth’s astronomical collection, are investigated in the following web pages.

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