Comet
(898 words)

The waning of the fear of comets reveals the shift brought about by the supersession of medieval cosmology (Cosmos) by early modern astronomy. In the old world view, all unusual celestial apparitions, such as comets, meteors, and shooting stars, were regarded as atmospheric phenomena, for Aristotelian cosmology only permitted complete and perfect circular orbits for the spheres of the stars, including the sun and moon. Comets, being irregular and transient phenomena, were therefore located beneath the lunar sphere (s…

Cite this page
Evers, Dirk, “Comet”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 July 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022428>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206



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