Groundbreaking astronomer Kepler ‘may have practised alchemy’


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Analysis of Kepler’s manuscripts finds high levels of metals used in a pseudoscience still practised in the 16th and 17th centuries

The pioneering astronomer Johannes Kepler may have had his eyes on the heavens, but chemical analysis of his manuscripts suggests he was “willing to get his hands dirty” and may have dabbled in alchemy.

A team led by biotechnologist Gleb Zilberstein and chemist Pier Giorgio Righetti has found very significant amounts of metals associated with the practice including gold, silver, mercury and lead on the pages of Kepler’s manuscript about the moon, catalogued as “Hipparchus” after the classical astronomer.

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