The First Astronomical Use of the Telescope in India
For astronomical observations, a telescopic device was used in India, within a decade of its invention. The year was 1618 but what astronomical objects were observed? That is connected with the tale of two great comets of November 1618.
I am grateful to Dr. Sabino Maffeo S.J., Professors Anna Reale and Armando Reale, who translated on request a major portion of Father Kirwitzer’s treatise from Latin to Italian and to Dr. Richard Boyle S.J., Vatican Observatory, for all his help in this matter. For any errors in my translation of it into English including my own directly from Latin to English and the final adoption here, the responsibility is solely mine. I thank Dr. R. Vasundhara for correspondence on critical visibility of comets. Thanks are due to Dr. Baba Varghese, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), for preparing the outline map of India marked with specific locations and to Mr. Manu Kapoor for crucial help at the computer. I thank the Werner Forman Archive/Naprestek Museum, Prague, for providing an image of a margin drawing from the folio of Jahangir’s Album (IDS Ref: 55403395-67).
Many papers and images, works on history and the history of astronomy not otherwise available in hard copy were accessed through the Internet.
Finally, I thank the referees for their useful comments and Professor Wayne Orchiston for help that made the manuscript presentable.
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