Use Of Eclipses And Formed A Systemic Model Essay

2214 Words Jun 1st, 2016 null Page
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 alternative to the later heliocentric model. Although he made calculations and models, he was not able to convince all of his peers at the time.
The measurements that Aristarchus made used geometry and angles to determined distance. Specifically he was trying to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Aristarchus used Pythagoreans theorem to measure the distance by forming a right triangle with the Sun, Earth and the Moon. Specifically, the Moon when it is at a quarter phase or half-full. Unfortunately, the measurement was pretty far off. It was difficult for him to determine, with the naked eye, when the Moon was exactly half illuminated (Hawley & Holcomb p.34). At the time there were no tools developed to help him perfectly…

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