BRAHE, Tycho. De mundi aetherei recentioribus phaenomenis, liber secundus. [Hven: for the author, 1588] and Prague: Schumann, 1603.
4° (222 x 170mm). Collation: *4 **4 A-MMM4 NNN2. Title device, engraved author portrait on title verso, allegorical device at end, 2 woodcuts of astronomical instruments and numerous woodcut text diagrams. (Some browning and spotting, neat marginal tear.) Later stiff vellum wrapper using a vellum MS leaf, without 2 fore-edge ties. Provenance: 17th-century title inscription crossed through; 19th-century ink stamp obscured on title.
FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE. De mundi aetherei contains Brahe's observations of the comet of 1577, along with a consideration of the observations and opinion of other astronomers on that comet. It also provided a description of Brahe's geoheliocentric theory of the universe, a view that evolved from his study of the astronomical phenomena of 1572 and 1577, and which was one of several new theories that paved the way for acceptance of the Copernican doctrine. It was to form one part of Brahe's proposed trilogy, along with the Progymnasmata and an intended work on the comets of 1582, 1585, etc. De mundi was completed by 1588 and copies were printed, but only a few were ever distributed, sent as presentation copies to a few colleagues working in the field. When he left Hven, Brahe took the sheets with him to Prague, where they were re-issued with a new title-page, dedication and preface to the reader. Brunet I: 1199; Dreyer, Brahe p.369; Houzeau & Lancaster 2699.