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Unformatted text preview: Meanwhile, in 1604, a new star had appeared in the sky, posing a remarkable challenge to the Ptolemaic system, which followed Aristotle in holding that the heavens were fixed and eternal. The star became known as Kepler's Nova, after the iconoclastic German astronomer, who became famously associated with the star by arguing that it shone from a high and distant location, rather than from a place close to the moon, as more conservative scholars argued. In a famous series of lectures in 1604 and 1605, Galileo took Kepler's side in the debate, ruffling the feathers of his traditionalist rivals at the university. But more mundane concerns soon tugged at him: during his annual summer visit to Florence, his mounting debts caught up with him, and his creditors threatened to take him to court. The financial pressure abated only when Galileo agreed to tutor take him to court....
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- Fall '07