The Heavens and Earth Essay

1428 Words 6 Pages
The Heavens and Earth

Even to the casual observer, using just the ability of the human eye, there is a noticeable order in the manner of the movement of the celestial objects as they travel across the sky. The Sun, Moon, and the stars, all have a discernable pattern to their rising and setting. Upon closer observance, one might notice slight seasonal changes in the relative location on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets. Alternatively, one can notice more drastic variations in the Moon's relative position, the timing of it's appearances, and the variation of the portion of the Moon that is illuminated on any given night. In addition, the stars, if tracked even for a short period, clearly have a pattern to their rising and
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It is thought that ancient peoples kept track of the movement of celestial bodies for the purpose of establishing yearly calendars for planting and harvesting, and in the aid of navigating on the open seas (Chaisson 30-31). The exact intentions of the ancient peoples can not ascertained due to the lack of written records. Many Historians assume it that the ancient's quest for knowledge of the motion of celestial bodies was of a practical nature, not one of strict scientific inquiry.
The ancient Greeks, who kept written records, applied the use of logic and careful observation in attempts to understand the physical and celestial world, as they knew it. The Greeks did not tend to study the practical and applied aspects of science, but were more so interested in the theoretical aspects of their inquiries (Adler 123). One person who studied the apparent motion of the celestial bodies was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who lived between 384-322 B.C. Aristotle using careful observation and logic mistakenly concluded that the Earth was at the center of the Universe and that all of the celestial bodies such as the Sun, Moon and the Stars moved in perfect circular orbits around the earth (Window 1). Aristotle's view of the Earth as the center of the Universe was widely accepted and was the basis for the theories of other ancient astronomers. In an effort to further explain

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