(b. North Luffenhanm, Rutland, England, 19 April 1619; d. North Luffenham, 30 September 1668)
Wing’s father, for whom he was named, was a small landowner. Young Wing had little formal education and began earning his living at an early age as a surveyor, almanac compiler, astrologer, and prolific writer of astromical works, His almanacs were the most popular of their time; and in Flamsteed’s judgment, Wing produced “our exactest ephemerides.” He was an eager polemicist and frequently was involved in public disputes over astronomical and astrological matters.
Wing’s career as an astronomer mirrors the development of astronomical thought during the seventeenth century. His first book, Urania practica (1649), asserted the stability of the earth and was Ptolemaic in spirit. A published attack on it by Jeremy Shakerley may have led to Wing’s conversion to Copernicanism. By 1651 he had accepted the fundamentals of Keplerian astronomy as modified by Ismael Boulliau.
Like many astronomers in the second half of the seventeenth century, Wing, following Boulliau and Seth Ward, opted for an “empty-focus” variant of Kepler’s second law, holding that a planet moving in an elliptical orbit describes equal angles in equal times about the focus not occupied by the sun. In works published in 1651 and 1656 Wing, adopting Boulliau’s method, had his elliptical orbits, including that of the moon, generated in purely geometrical fashion by circles and epicycles. In his posthumously published Astronotnin Britannica, however, he discarded the epicycles in favor of a refined version of the theory proposed by Ward in the latter’s As tronomiu geometrice (1656), in which the elliptical orbits were assumed to be physically generated. Wing’s celestial mechanics contained a mixture of Cartesian and Keplerian components, with a rotating sun and celestial vortex pushing the planets around in their orbits.
I. Original Works. Wing produced a great many almanacs, ophemerides, and astrological pamphlets. His chief works are Urania practica (London, 1649: 2nd ed., 1652); Ens fictum Shakerle v, His In–artificial Anatomy of Urania practice (London, 1649), written with William Leybourn: Hartnonicon coeleste: Or the Coelestial Harmony of the Visible World (London, 165 1): Astrononria instaurata: Or a Near and Compendious Rcslauration of Astronomy’ (London, 1656): Geo–dates practices: Or the Art of Surreving (London, 1664); Examen astronomiae Carolinae (London, 1665); and Astronomia Britannica (London, 1669).
II. Secondary Literature. See J. B. J. Delambre, Histoire de l’astronomie moderne, II (Paris, 1821), 519–524; and John Gadbury, A Brief Relation of the Life and Death of the Late Famous Mathematician and Astrologer, Mr. Vincent Wing (London, 1670).
"Wing, Vincent." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wing-vincent
"Wing, Vincent." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wing-vincent
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.