Mars pp 156-171 | Cite as

Fear and Panic

  • Markus HotakainenEmail author

s m a i s m r m i l m e p o e t a l e u m i b u n e n u g t t a u i r a s

Galileo Galilei: A letter to Johannes Kepler (1610)

The existence of the two small satellites of Mars has been known for about 400 years. This might come as a surprise, since there was no chance of finding these tiny bodies with the primitive instruments of the seventeenth century. The German Johannes Kepler, who had just solved the problem of the celestial movements of Mars – and of all the other planets, too – was the originator of the idea. Despite his good guess Kepler was not any great seer or possessor of some secret knowledge. There is a simple explanation for his accidentally correct conjecture on the number of satellites of Mars. He misunderstood the information he received from the Italian Galileo Galilei.


Orbital Period Celestial Body Total Solar Eclipse Apparent Diameter Weak Gravitational Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HelsinskiFinland

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