Before the invention of the telescope, people used nothing more than their naked eye to fathom what took place in the visible sky. So how did four men in the 1500's, though of different nationality, age, religion, and class, collaborate to discover that the Earth revolved around the Sun? With this radical discovery that went against the Catholic Church, they created our contemporary world—and with it, the uneasy conditions of modern life. Heaven on Earth is an intimate examination of a scientific family—that of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei. Fauber juxtaposes their work with insight into their personal lives and and political considerations, which in turn shaped their pursuit of knowledge. Uniquely, he shows how their intergenerational collaboration was actually what made the scientific revolution possible. Contrary to the competitive nature of research today, collaboration was key to early discoveries. These men related to one another via intellectual pursuit rather than blood, calling each other “brothers,” “fathers,” and “sons." Filled with rich characters and sweeping history, Heaven on Earth reveals how the connection between these pillars of intellectual history moved science forward—and helped usherd the world into modernity.
“Fauber’s chronicling of these four astronomers’ scientific advances and their surrounding intrigues is lively and unfailingly fascinating, down to the footnotes.”
– Christian Science Monitor
“As Fauber drives home in this dynamic science history, their intermeshed stories form a mighty “intergenerational epic” sweeping in the likes of Brahe’s sister Sophie and Galileo’s daughter Virginia. A wonderfully wrought explication of how a powerful thesis began its journey to becoming unavoidable fact, and seeded modernity in the process.”
“Fauber seamlessly merges biography, history, and science in this amazing look at the four 16th-century astronomers whose work revealed the heliocentric solar system. Rich with detail, this is an extraordinary saga of stubborn scientific curiosity, and of the first inklings of this planet’s true place in the universe.”
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
“What Fauber does well is humanize these four residents of the pantheon of science...the story is seldom less than fascinating. A readable, enjoyable contribution to the history of science.”