The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories

@inproceedings{Heilbron1999TheSI,
  title={The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories},
  author={J. L. Heilbron},
  year={1999}
}
Between 1650 and 1750, four Catholic churches were the best solar observatories in the world. Built to fix an unquestionable date for Easter, they also housed instruments that threw light on the disputed geometry of the solar system, and so within sight of the alter, subverted church doctrine about the order of the universe. A tale of politically canny astronomers and cardinals with a taste for mathematics, this text tells how these observatories came to be, how they worked, and what they… 

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