Giovanni Battista Riccioli

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Giovanni Battista Riccioli (April 17 1598June 25 1671) was an Italian astronomer.

He was a Jesuit who entered the order in 1614.

He devoted his career to the study of astronomy, often working with Francesco Maria Grimaldi. He wrote the important work Almagestum novum in 1651. By necessity, he opposed the Copernican heliocentric theory though praising its value as a simple hypothesis.

He and Grimaldi extensively studied the Moon, of which Grimaldi drew a map. Much of the nomenclature of lunar features still in use today is due to him and Grimaldi. He also observed Saturn, and was the first to note that Mizar was a double star.

Other books he wrote were: Geographiae et hydrographiae reformatae libri (1661), Astronomia reformata (1665), Chronologia reformata (1669) and Tabula latitudinum et longitudinum (published in 1689).

Interestingly, despite his stated opposition to Copernicus's theory he named a very prominent crater (Copernicus crater) after him, and other important craters were named after other proponents of the theory Kepler, Galileo and Lansbergius. Craters that he and Grimaldi named after themselves are in the same general vicinity, while some other Jesuit astronomers have craters named after them in a different part of the Moon, near Tycho crater. This is sometimes considered to be tacit sympathy for Copernican theory, which as a Jesuit he could not publicly express.

See also

External links

eo:Giovan Battista RICCIOLI fr:Giovanni Riccioli it:Giovanni Riccioli sl:Giovanni Battista Riccioli fi:Giovanni Riccioli

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