Arirnicus's The Sizes And Distances Of Heavenly Spheres

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Aristarchus of Samos was not only an astronomer but also a mathematician. He lived between 310–230 B.C. and belonged to the Pythagorean School of Thought (Heath). His mathematical knowledge helped him to discover great advances in the world of astronomy. His writing The Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon is his only surviving text (Aristarchus ‘16). Aristarchus’ description of the solar system was similar to our modern one and this was about 1500 years before Copernicus made his geocentric model (Hawley & Holcomb p.34). Aristarchus made various measurements using eclipses and formed a systemic model. This model would help later scientists to understand the true form of the solar system. Aristarchus formed the geocentric model, an early …show more content…
His primary focus was philosophy and he was not seeking to renovate science (Patel). Even after forming his theories and documenting his findings Copernicus did not immediately share the results. De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres, was not published for about thirty-years. The reason Copernicus did not publish his writings was because he felt his ideas should only be discussed with other scientist. Also, he was fearful of unfair criticism, and possibility persecution (Patel). Copernicus was a part of the establishments that supported Ptolemaic tradition. However, as his cosmological studies continued, he gradually became displeased with the Ptolemy’s system of planetary motion. Copernicus wanted to improve the arrangements developed by Ptolemy. Ptolemy had been forced to offset the centers of the planet’s regular motions a little away from the Earth to fit observations of planetary motions (Patel). Copernicus believed this conflicted with the basic rule of true circular motion that was explained through Aristotle’s doctrine. This conflict caused Copernicus’s major objection to the Ptolemaic model. Copernicus realized that the setting and rising of the Moon, Sun, and stars could be explained by the rotation of Earth. Also, he found that if he put the Sun at the center of the planet 's orbits he could simplify the number of epicycles to 34 from Ptolemy’s 80. Although …show more content…
Not much is known of Aristarchus. What little information scholars have comes from the accounts of other mathematicians around and after his time. Unlike many of his peers, Aristarchus of Samos never received much recognition until modern times. There was a period in history where those who believed the earth revolved around the sun were ignored due to religious theories at that time. People who believed the Earth revolved around the sun would have been deemed heretics, or someone that believed in something that challenged the religion of the time (Aristarchus ‘12). Aristarchus’s calculations were not entirely accurate but he was simply using the resources he had available. Although he is only shortly mentioned for the development of the heliocentric model he greatly influenced Copernicus’s later studies. Not every astronomer in ancient Greece was planning the future understanding of the solar system. The more advanced thinkers of astronomy were years ahead of their time. Just as well, as those years passed and other astronomers like Kepler, Brahe, Aristotle and Galileo were able to revisit earlier contributions more about the universe was discovered. Astronomers, mathematicians and cosmologists of today know what they know because of the early contributions of astronomers like Aristarchus. Learning from the past, even past mistakes, allows scientists to make further developments into

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