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24 Cards in this Set

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The branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole


The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence in human affairs and the natural world

What is the key difference between astronomy and astrology?

Astronomy is a study based off facts, astrology is the attempt of a study of the affects of what astronomy has discovered on the people and events of earth

What does planet mean in Greek?


Plato was the student of which famous philosopher?


Was Plato's theory of the universe geocentric or heliocentric?


What do Aristarchus and Aristotle have in common?

They were both students of Plato

How did Aristarchus and Aristotle disagree?

Aristotle's believed the universe was geocentric, Aristarchus thought the universe was heliocentric.

Were Aristotle's predictions of heavenly motion qualitative or quantitative?


When did Aristarchus of Samos propose his heliocentric model?

200 BC

Why wasn't Aristarchus's heliocentric proposal accepted in 200 BC?

It contrasted with Aristotle's geocentric beliefs

Apparent retrograde motion

The view of a planet going backwards compared to the other planets within the solar system, depending on the vantage point

How is Ptolemy pronounced?



A geocentric model used to explain the variations in speed and direction of the apparent motion of the moon, sun, and planets


Where the central point in the universe is not the earth but a point in space

Was Ptolemy's theory geocentric or heliocentric?


What three incorrect ideas that held back the development of modern astronomy from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century?

1) the assumption that the earth was the center of the universe

2) the assumption of uniform circular motion in the heavens

3) the assumption that objects in the heavens were made from a perfect, unchanging substance not found on the earth


The angle sub tended at a celestial body by the radius of the earths orbit

Example of parallax

Sit still and focus on object. Cover alternate eyes, the object looks like it is moving

What is the Copernican theory of the universe?

The position of the sun near the center of the universe, motionless, with earth and the other planets rotating around it in a circular paths modified by epicycles and at uniform speeds

Is the Copernican theory geocentric or heliocentric?


How did the Copernican theory explain retrograde motion?


What key factor kept the Copernican theory from being accepted at first?

The Roman Catholic Church had decided that earth was the center of the universe and any contrary opinions were heresy

How long did people believe in a geocentric universe before Copernicus published his theory?

1500 years