Anton (or Antonius) Maria Schyrleus (also Schyrl, Schyrle) of Rheita (1604–1660) ((in Czech)Antonín Maria Šírek z Reity) was an astronomer and optician. He developed several inverting and erecting eyepieces, and was the maker of Kepler’s telescope. "Things appear more alive with the binocular telescope," he wrote, "doubly as exact so to speak, as well as large and bright. His binocular telescope is the precursor to our binoculars. .
Two different stories exist about Rheita's early life. The most popular account holds that he is of Czech origin, born in 1597. According to this story he was a priest and a member of the order of Capuchin friars at Rheita, Bohemia, hence his name. At the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, he left the order and established himself in Belgium.
The other, more probable account, starts in 1604, when Schyrleus is born in Reutte, Austria. After joining the Augustine order in 1622, he is sent to the university at Ingolstadt, where he probably follows courses in astronomy and learns how to grind lenses. Following his graduation he does not return to his convent but enters the Capuchin order, which sends him to Linz in 1636 where he is to teach philosophy. Here, he comes in the service of Kurfürst Philipp Christoph von Sötern, the archbishop of Trier and Speyer, who is held captive by the emperor, Ferdinand III. The archbishop sends him on a mission to negotiate with Pope Urban VIII. The emperor however, seeing this diplomatic activity as a form of spying, bans Schyrleus from his lands in 1641. From here on, both accounts of Schyrleus' life come together.
In the 1640s he was a professor of philosophy at Trier. In 1642, he was in Cologne conducting astronomical observations and optical measurements, and in 1643 his work Novem stellae circa Jovem visae, circa Saturnum sex, circa Martem nonnullae ("Nine stars seen around Jupiter, six around Saturn, several around Mars") appeared.In 1645, he published Oculus Enoch et Eliae, siue, Radius sidereomysticus, a very influential work on optics and astronomy.
In Oculus Enoch et Eliae, besides describing one of his inventions, an eyepiece for a Keplerian telescope, which left the image reverted, it also contained a long section on binocular telescopes, which greatly influenced other telescope-makers and opticians in the next century. His section on binocular telescopes is not illustrated, but the methods he describes became the standard construction techniques for many years.
Another engraving in this book may show a lens grinding machine.
Schyrleus was a determined anticopernican. In the foreword of its book, which includes a dedication to Jesus Christ and Ferdinand III, Schyrleus boldly declared that after having meditated for a long time on the systems of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and other astronomers, he was convinced that all of these scientists had advanced superfluous theories. He dedicated the moons of Jupiter to Pope Urban VIII, calling them Astres Urbanoctavianes. He also wrote that Saturn had two "companions," and that they were periodically eclipsed by the planet. He deduced that they had their own independent orbits, and that they illuminated Saturn, which needed light as it was a hundred times less lit by the sun than the Earth. He tells us that in 1642, in Cologne, he saw pass in front of the Sun a troop (turnam) of shooting stars that followed one another during a period fourteen days, and that the glare of the Sun was considerably weakened by it.
In regard to extraterrestrial life, Schyrleus wrote, "If Jupiter has…inhabitants…they must be larger and more beautiful than the inhabitants of the Earth, in proportion to the [size] of the two spheres." However, he did not dare to confirm the existence of Jovian beings due to certain theological difficulties; Schyrleus wondered, for example, if beings on other planets maintained their primitive state of innocence, or if they are cursed by original sin like humans are.
Schyrleus also included a map of the Moon in Oculus Enoch et Eliae. It was the first depiction of the Moon as seen in an inverting telescope (and thus the Moon itself is inverted in the illustration, with the South Pole at the top). The crater Tycho, for example, was depicted on lunar maps as early as 1645, when Schyrleus depicted the bright ray system. His map, however, did not come into standard use, as it was superseded by those made by Hevelius and the Jesuits Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1650–1651). In 1647, Schyrleus published a lunar chart with a diameter of 19 cm.
He may have spent some time in Italy, but it is certain that he died at Ravenna. It is unknown why he was there at the time.
He is credited with bringing into the scientific lexicon the terms "ocular" and "objective" (as used in optics). The lunar crater Rheita is named after him. By extension, the lunar valley Vallis Rheita, where the crater stands at the valley’s northwestern end, is also named after Schyrleus.
Tycho is a prominent lunar impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601). It is estimated to be 108 million years old.
Binoculars or field glasses are two telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes when viewing distant objects. Most are sized to be held using both hands, although sizes vary widely from opera glasses to large pedestal mounted military models.
Mare Humorum is a lunar mare. The impact basin it is located in is 425 kilometers across.
Mare Serenitatis is a lunar mare located to the east of Mare Imbrium on the Moon. Its diameter is 674 km (419 mi).
A refracting telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image. The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long focus camera lenses. Although large refracting telescopes were very popular in the second half of the 19th century, for most research purposes the refracting telescope has been superseded by the reflecting telescope which allows larger apertures. A refractor's magnification is calculated by dividing the focal length of the objective lens by that of the eyepiece.
Alphonsus is an ancient impact crater on the Moon that dates from the pre-Nectarian era. It is located on the lunar highlands on the eastern end of Mare Nubium, west of the Imbrian Highlands, and slightly overlaps the crater Ptolemaeus to the north. To the southwest is the smaller Alpetragius.
Copernicus is a lunar impact crater located in eastern Oceanus Procellarum. It was named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. It typifies craters that formed during the Copernican period in that it has a prominent ray system.
Aristarchus, named after the Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, is a prominent lunar impact crater that lies in the northwest part of the Moon's near side. It is considered the brightest of the large formations on the lunar surface, with an albedo nearly double that of most lunar features. The feature is bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, and displays unusually bright features when viewed through a large telescope. It is also readily identified when most of the lunar surface is illuminated by earthshine. The crater is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
Johann Hieronymus Schröter was a German astronomer.
Albategnius is an ancient lunar impact crater located in the central highlands. It is named after the Muslim astronomer and scientist Muhammad ibn Jābir al-Harrānī al-Battānī, Latinized as Albategnius.
Menelaus is a young lunar impact crater located on the southern shore of Mare Serenitatis near the eastern end of the Montes Hæmus mountain range. Its diameter is 27 km. To the southwest is the small crater Auwers, and to the west-southwest is the even smaller Daubrée. To the northeast is a faint rille system named the Rimae Menelaus.
Rheita is a lunar impact crater located in the southwestern sector of the Moon. It was named after Czech astronomer and optician Anton Maria Schyrleus of Rheita. It lies to the northeast of the crater Metius, and northwest of Young. The southwestern rim overlies the edge of Vallis Rheita, a long lunar valley stretching for over 200 kilometers on a line running northeast to southwest. At its widest the valley is 25 kilometers wide and a kilometer deep.
Lunar craters are impact craters on Earth's Moon. The Moon's surface has many craters, almost all of which were formed by impacts.
Montes Taurus is a rugged, jumbled mountainous region on the Moon. It is located to the east of the Mare Serenitatis, in the northeastern quadrant of the Moon's near side. Coordinates of their center are, and their extent is about 170 km.
Selenography is the study of the surface and physical features of the Moon. Historically, the principal concern of selenographists was the mapping and naming of the lunar maria, craters, mountain ranges, and other various features. This task was largely finished when high resolution images of the near and far sides of the Moon were obtained by orbiting spacecraft during the early space era. Nevertheless, some regions of the Moon remain poorly imaged and the exact locations of many features are uncertain by several kilometers. Today, selenography is considered to be a subdiscipline of selenology, which itself is most often referred to as simply "lunar science." The word selenography is derived from the Greek lunar deity Σελήνη Selene and γράφω graphō, "I write".
Frederick James Hargreaves was a British astronomer and optician.
The physical exploration of the Moon began when Luna 2, a space probe launched by the Soviet Union, made an impact on the surface of the Moon on September 14, 1959. Prior to that the only available means of exploration had been observation from Earth. The invention of the optical telescope brought about the first leap in the quality of lunar observations. Galileo Galilei is generally credited as the first person to use a telescope for astronomical purposes; having made his own telescope in 1609, the mountains and craters on the lunar surface were among his first observations using it.
The Moon is the largest natural satellite of and the closest major astronomical object to Earth. The Moon may be observed by using a variety of optical instruments, ranging from the naked eye to large telescopes. The Moon is the only celestial body upon which surface features can be discerned with the unaided eyes of most people.
An astronomical filter is a telescope accessory consisting of an optical filter used by amateur astronomers to simply enhance the details of celestial objects. In contrast, research astronomers use filters on telescopes in order to understand the astrophysics, occurring for the object in a given bandpass via photometry.
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