Kepler's Somnium: The Dream, Or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1967 - Science - 255 pages
3 Reviews
Both a scientific treatise on lunar astronomy and a remarkably foresighted science-fiction story about a voyage to the moon, Kepler's Somnium went unrecognized for centuries. This edition of the work by the 17th-century mathematician and astronomer presents a full translation from the original Latin, with an informative introduction and helpful notes.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Uno de los libros mas fascinantes que he leido, hasta ahora pensaba que el inicio de la Ciencia Ficcion habia sido Julio Verne, pero al leer este libro me he dado cuenta de que no, Kepler es mas imaginativo, y debe de reconocerse que su genio no solo era en la astronomia, sino tambien en la Fantasia 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I am requesting that our high school librarian order this book. Students will be able to read it for Accelerated Reading credit in science & English classes.


The Dream
Keplers Nores on the Dream 30
Keplers Geographical Appendix to the Dream
Appendix A Jacob Bartsch
Appendix B Ludwig Kepler
Keplers Lunar Dissertation of 1593 107
Appendix F Keplers Legendary Account of Aristorles
Keplers Concept of Inertia 111
Paul Guldin 133

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1967)

Born in Wurttemburg, Germany, Johannes Kepler was the son of a soldier of fortune who eventually deserted his family. Kepler is widely known for his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler began to think about astronomy and planetary motion as a schoolteacher in Graz, Austria and published his first work, Mysterium Cosmographicum, in 1596. He became an apprentice to Tcho Brahe, whose collection of astronomical observations was the best of its kind. Kepler's work on Mars, in which he tried to fit a theory to the observations, led to his discovery that planetary motion is elliptical rather than circular. Kepler's life was somewhat chaotic as a result of the repeated harassment of Protestant teachers in predominantly Catholic Austria. Some of his ideas about cosmic harmonies, such as the theory that the spacing of planetary orbits is related to the five regular polyhedrons, were incorrect. Yet his basic approach of seeking a broad sense of order and harmony in the world led to the discovery of mathematical regularities involved in planetary motion, and ultimately, to the elegance of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion. Kepler's Somnium, a fictional account of a voyage to the moon, is cited by historians of rocketry as an early work of science fiction that might have stimulated interest in space travel.

Rosen was Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Bibliographic information