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Early Views of the Solar System (With thanks to Mark Ritter & John Bloom)

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Presentation on theme: "Early Views of the Solar System (With thanks to Mark Ritter & John Bloom)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Views of the Solar System (With thanks to Mark Ritter & John Bloom)

2 The Roots of Astronomy Already in the stone and bronze ages, human cultures realized the cyclic nature of motions in the sky. Monuments dating back to ~ 3000 B.C. show alignments with astronomical significance. Those monuments were probably used as calendars or even to predict eclipses.

3 Stonehenge Alignments with locations of sunset, sunrise, moonset and moonrise at summer and winter solstices Probably used as calendar. Summer solstice Heelstone Constructed: 3000 – 1800 B.C.

4 Examples All Over the World Big Horn Medicine Wheel (Wyoming)

5 Examples All Over the World Caracol (Maya culture, approx. A.D. 1000)

6 Ancient Astronomers No written documents about the significance of stone and bronze age monuments. First preserved written documents about ancient astronomy are from ancient Greek philosophy. Greeks tried to understand the motions of the sky and describe them in terms of mathematical models.

7 Ancient Greek Astronomers Models were generally wrong because they were based on wrong first principles, believed to be obvious and not questioned : 1. Geocentric Universe: Earth at the Center of the Universe. 2. Perfect Heavens: Motions of all celestial, ethereal bodies described by motions involving objects of perfect shape, i.e., spheres or circles.

8 General Greek Principles of Science Nature can be understood (Not just randomly occurring phenomena) The diverse behavior observed in nature is held together in patterns Tendency to Save the Phenomenon

9 Euclid ~ 600 BC What he got right: –Predicted solar eclipses –Moon shines due to reflected sunlight –Universe explainable by ordinary knowledge and reason What he got wrong: –Thought Earth was a flat, rotating disk –Thought water was a fundamental element from which all other matter derives

10 Pythagoras ~ 530 BC First to suggest that Earth is a sphere One of the earliest advocates of a geocentric solar system: –Earth at center, surrounded by system of concentric, rotating, transparent spheres –Bodies attached to spheres in this order: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, stars

11 Philolaus ~ 410 BC (student of Pythagoras) Suggested Earth moves around a central fire (NOT the Sun) What were his new ideas???

12 Ancient Greek Astronomers Eudoxus (409 – 356 B.C.): - Model of 27 nested spheres Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C.), major authority of philosophy until the late middle ages: - Universe can be divided in 2 parts: 1.Imperfect, changeable Earth 2.Perfect Heavens (described by spheres) Aristotle expanded Eudoxus Model to use 55 spheres.

13 the Aristotelian universe ~ 340 BC In ancient times philosophers argued from first principles, things that were accepted as obviously true Several important ideas ruled the ancient world…

14 Aristotle ~ 340 BC first: the earth was round gave 4 reasons for earth s roundness: –Symmetry: the sphere is a perfect shape –Elements have their natural places: Earth s pieces fall naturally to Earth s center, pressing it into a spherical shape (circular reasoning!) –Shadow: Lunar eclipse shadow (Earth s shadow on Moon) is always circular (what if Earth were a circular disk?) –North Star: Polaris gets higher in the sky the further north one goes

15 second: the earth was located in the center of the cosmos! third: the heavens were perfect, the earth imperfect all the cosmos traveled in perfect circles around us Plato pushed this, his student, Aristotle adopted it he gave us the Aristotelian way of looking at the cosmos…

16 geocentric universe with all the heavenly objects moving in uniform circular motion Aristotelian concepts dominated ancient ideas about the universe for thousands of years… Two major themes here: 1) our place in the cosmos 2) the character of planetary motion

17 Aristarchus ~ 240 BC Rotation of Earth on its own axis accounts for daily motion of stars Earth revolves around Sun in a yearly orbit He had it right before 200 BC! But his ideas failed to catch on…

18 Eratosthenes ~ 235 BC Calculated Earth s radius to within about 5% accuracy! Basic method: –Measured shadow lengths at two different cities directly North-South of each other (Syene and Alexandria) –Calculated Earth s circumference and radius using geometry –Central angle = 7.5 degrees, 500 miles from A to S, times 48 = 24,000 miles; –Actual angle = 7.2 degrees, 500 mi x 50 = 25,000 miles.

19 great ancient astronomer of the 2nd century wanted to put it all this orbital motion into a mathematical model final effort to Save the Phenomenon no significant changes for 1300 years! Ptolemaic view = geocentric view Ptolemy ~ 120 AD

20 why did they think we were in center anyway? popular worldview the Sun appears to rise, transit the sky, and set it doesn t feel like we are moving! and there was the problem of…

21 parallax, the apparent motion of an object b/c of the motion of the observer if we were going around the sun, the background stars should change position! (they do, but not a lot since they are so far away)

22 planetary motion was difficult for the ancients to explain planets (wanderers) would suddenly backtrack! called retrograde motion

23 Ptolemy tried to explain it with epicycles (little circles - blue) on deferents (big circles - white) all in an attempt to keep the Aristotelian (geocentric) view of the cosmos

24 all Ptolemy s attempts to mathematically explain Aristotle's universe were put together in a book preserved by the Arabs, Al Magisti, then translated into Latin, The Almagest but unknown to them it was all wrong! enter…

25 Copernicus ~ 1500 AD a Polish monk, Mikolai Kopernik (Lt. Nicolaus Copernicus) rediscovered the heliocentric model of the universe but being for heliocentrism was being against Aristotle, and against the Church!

26 De Revolutionibus finished in 1530, Copernicus wrote De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestrium ( on the revolution of the celestial orbs ) he didn t give permission for its publication until he was dying

27 most important idea? he put the sun (Sol) in the center!

28 with the sun at the center the whole universe was simplified and elegant, and could explain things like retrograde motion we, moving faster on the inside, see other planets seem to move backward but!…

29 Copernicus insisted on circular orbits! so he had to come up with his own epicycles so it worked better…

30 his model was incorrect but his hypothesis with the sun in center was right but without a telescope it couldn t be substantiated with evidence AND his circle obsession meant it couldn t predict things very well AND it upset people because their whole universe changed! so it wasn t accepted for a long time

31 Tycho Brahe ~ 1500s the greatest pre- telescopic observational astronomer

32 in 1572, he saw a supernova which he called a new star it showed no parallax, so he deduced it to be a part of the starry sphere but the star sphere was perfect and unchanging !!!

33 so the new star challenged Ptolemy and Aristotle Brahe wrote a book on it called De Stella Nova which got the notice of lots of people and made him famous…

34 Danish king Frederick II gave him island of Hveen to build an observatory (Uraniburg)

35 here Tycho shows off the latest mural quadrant with tools like these (notice no scopes) he observed the heavens and took over 20 years of data!

36 Tycho had his own version of what was going on neither Ptolemaic nor Copernican Earth was at center, but all the other planets went around the sun Tychonic view

37 Tycho ended up in Prague and hired some new assistants to help prove his system was correct one of the assistants was Johannes Kepler

38 Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) Kepler had a not- so-fun life born in 1571 in Germany, he was poor, had an absent father, was sickly, had a nasty mother, etc., etc.

39 a Copernican, Kepler even wrote a book Mysterium Cosmographicum which tried to prove that all the planets were built with regular solids as spacers!

40 eventually, after being persecuted for being a Protestant, he headed for Prague to work for Tycho then Tycho died… so, Kepler took all of Tycho s work to finish the Rudolphine Tables himself joining Tycho

41 with all of Tycho s data, Kepler tried to find out how the planets really moved he discovered that Mars moves in an ellipse, not a circle! and it traveled at different speeds!

42 he wrote a lot after this and in 1619 published The Harmony of the Worlds in which he said that the radii of the planets orbits are related to their periods all this led to his three fundamental laws of planetary motion…

43 Keplers three laws of planetary motion first law relies on the ellipse – an oval drawn around 2 points points called foci (sing: focus) semimajor axis (a) = half the longest diameter eccentricity (e) is half the distance between foci divided by the semimajor axis a circle is an ellipse with e = 0 greater e more elliptical

44 Kepler s First Law (Law of Ellipses) states that all planets travel in ellipses with the sun at one focus

45 Second Law (Equal Areas-Equal Times) planets sweep out equal areas in equal times translation: they go faster when closer to the Sun

46 Third Law T 2 = R 3 states that the closer a planet is to the Sun the shorter its year T = period in Earth years R = distance in AUs given one, you should be able to find the other Kepler never knew why his laws worked, just that they did

47 finally, in 1627, Kepler finished the R Tables, a precise model of planetary motion (notice Tycho as part of the pillars of astronomy) a contemporary of Kepler was… the Rudolphine Tables

48 Galileo Galilei (1594 – 1642) helped push science to a new level…

49 GG had an academic upbringing and was quietly Copernican it was the telescope that pushed him over the top he used this recent invention to examine the sky and gather evidence for the heliocentric view telescopic observations

50 he immediately published his findings in Siderius Nuncius (The Sidereal Messenger) here he reported several big discoveries…

51 1: The Moon was not perfect!!! remember Aristotle said everything in the heavens was perfect? but the Moon looked sort of like Earth!!!

52 Major Discoveries of Galileo Surface structures on the moon; first estimates of the height of mountains on the moon

53 2: There were lots of stars up there (many more than were previously supposed) the Milky Way (and the rest of the heavens) is substantial, like the earth, not ethereal

54 3: He saw four little stars near Jupiter these points of light were going around Jupiter! but they weren t supposed to!!!! they should have been left behind!!! So, not everything orbits the Earth… and, if Jupiter can move and keep its moons so could Earth

55 Major Discoveries of Galileo Moons of Jupiter (4 Galilean moons) Rings of Saturn (What he really saw)

56 4: He saw that the sun had spots (proving that the sun is not perfect!), and that it rotated Major Discoveries of Galileo

57 5: He observed that Venus went through phases (including full Venus) So what? it can only have all phases if it goes around the sun, not the Earth!

58 but even with all this evidence people were still upset some didn t even look through the telescope! The Catholic Church, still in love with Aristotle, told Galileo to be quiet it was in 1629 that he wrote his great defense of the Copernican way…

59 Galileos Dialogue it was an imaginary debate between three friends: Salviati (pro-Copernican) Sagredo (indifferent) Simplicio (pro-Ptolemy) problem: Simplicio presented the Pope s view of things … bad move!

60 Galileo was brought before the Inquisition charged with not shutting up condemned to life imprisonment note: what Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo taught and discovered didn t contradict the Bible… it contradicted people s interpretations, traditions, and worldviews

61 in trying to understand the skies in the 16/17 century, modern science was born nothing more than a logical way of observing, studying, and thinking about nature scientific method (Roger Bacon, 13 th century) cause and effect (Francis Bacon, 17 th century) et al… The Birth of Modern Science


63 Isaac Newton and orbital motion by now we have a new outlook on the universe and new ways to study it all perfect time for this guy to show up…

64 Isaac Newton Isaac was very smart, raised in England, educated at Trinity, but… during the Black Plague of 1665 went home to Woolsthorpe while there he thought through his laws of motion…

65 which he wrote about in his Principia from the work of all the great guys before him he gave us three laws of motion which we still use he realized the same force that brings an apple to the Earth keeps the Moon in orbit and those other things must be pulling on us, too

66 he figured if something has mass it has gravity mass is how much stuff/matter something has weight is the force that something exerts because gravity pulls on it

67 He also realized that the distance plays a huge role and is an inverse square relation double the distance and gravity decreases by 4x.

68 know the relationships… the force of gravity attracting two objects is proportional to their masses, but inversely proportional to the squares of their distances

69 orbital motion here s why satellites orbit celestial bodies throw something hard enough and the Earth will curve out of the way it will fall forever that is being in orbit

70 this animation shows how

71 circular velocity is the speed you have to achieve to orbit in a circle less, you crash; more, you might even leave! the Shuttle needs to get to about 8 km/s to do it. less over smaller bodies

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