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34 Johannes Kepler 1571-1630
Autograph letter to Philip Mueller, 3 p.
Sagan, Germany, October 17/27, 1629
Written by Johannes Kepler, formulator of the three laws of planetary motion, to Philip Mueller (1585-1659), physician, mathematician, astronomer and professor at the University of Leipzig, this letter contains a short discussion of astronomical observations about which Mueller had inquired, but it is primarily concerned with the financial and practical problems Kepler encountered while attempting to print Ephemerides motuum coelest, tables of planetary configurations. Kepler had made arrangements to purchase printing materials and to cast special types, but since sufficient ready funds were not available, he wanted to make immediate use of funds placed to his credit by his patron, Albrecht von Wallenstein (1583-1634), which were in danger of being withdrawn to support campaigns in the Thirty Years' War. Kepler's efforts were ultimately successful: the planetary tables, covering the years 1621-1638, were completed and published in September 1630.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Genee Conreid

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