Astronomers at work, 1630.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraved plate taken from 'Rosa Ursina' (1630) by the German astronomer and mathematician Christoph Scheiner (1573-1650), depicting astronomers using telescopes and other astronomical devices. Scheiner used telescopes invented by Galileo to observe sunspots. As a Jesuit, Scheiner held the belief that the Sun, and the heavens generally, had to be perfect, and that sunspots were shadows cast by satellites of the Sun onto its face as they pased acros it. This brought him into a bitter dispute with Galileo, who was of the opinion that sunspots were features which formed on the surface of the Sun itself. Scheiner attacked Galileo in 'Rosa Ursina', prior to his trial before the Inquisition in 1633.