Earth and the other planets, 1551.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustration from 'Breve compendio de la sphera y de la arte de navegar' (1551) by Martin Cortes (1532-1589), showing the Earth at the centre of the universe. Before astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) found that Earth revolved around the Sun, it was believed that the Earth was the stationary centre of the universe. The 'Breve compendio' ('Short compendium of the world and of the art of navigation') consists of three parts: the first section deals with the composition of the world and the universal principles of the art of navigation; the second considers the movements of the sun and the moon and the effects they produce; and the final part deals with the construction and use of instruments and the rules of the art of navigation.