The Technical Museum in Prague will be opening a new exhibition on Monday, looking at the life and works of famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler. The exhibition called "Kepler and Prague", is part of the international World View Network project and aims at informing the public about the ways in which famous astronomers have influenced our lives. More from the exhibition's curator Antonin Svejda:
"Our colleagues from Sweden's Landskrona, specifically the Tycho de Brahe Museum on the Island of Hven, decided to launch a project documenting the co-operation of various renowned astronomers. They chose to feature five great Modern Age scientists - Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Newton - and found five institutions that would be able to host exhibitions focusing on each one of these men. So, our museum was approached to introduce the significant years of Johannes Kepler in Prague. He actively worked in the Czech capital for twelve years, which were probably the most important and productive years in his life."
From 1600-1612, to be precise. Johannes Kepler is chiefly remembered for discovering the three laws of planetary motion that bear his name. But besides Kepler's work, visitors will also be able to see the various types of instruments used by astronomers at the time and how they worked.
"Some of the objects and publications at this exhibition are obviously borrowed from other museums. One such object is a beautiful sundial from the workshop of Erasmus Hebermel. It dates back to 1600 and was lent to us from Prague's Academy of Decorative Arts. We also have a piece that's called the Somnium, or the 'Dream', which is a publication on lunar astronomy. Kepler worked on it for dozens of years and most of it came to being while he was in Prague. It was so scientifically advanced that it wasn't until 1644 that it was published by Kepler's son Ludwig. It is a very interesting book that describes Kepler's journey to the moon. Written in Latin, he tells us what travellers would have to face on their trips to the moon - radiation, gravity - and the problems involved in the actual transfer. So, with this publication, Kepler was at least 350 years ahead of us, even though the first real trip to the moon was not until the second half of the twentieth century."
The "Kepler and Prague" exhibition will continue at the Technical Museum until November 12th.