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1Note that the following lectures include animations and PowerPoint effects such as fly ins and transitions that require you to be in PowerPoint's Slide Show mode (presentation mode).
2The Origin of Modern Astronomy Chapter 4The Origin of Modern Astronomy
3GuidepostThe sun, moon, and planets sweep out a beautiful and complex dance across the heavens. Previous chapters have described that dance; this chapter describes how astronomers learned to understand what they saw in the sky and how that changed humanity’s understanding of what we are.In learning to interpret what they saw, Renaissance astronomers invented a new way of knowing about nature, a way of knowing that we recognize today as modern science.This chapter tells the story of heavenly motion from a cultural perspective. In the next chapter, we will give meaning to the motions in the sky by adding the ingredient Renaissance astronomers were missing—gravity.
4Outline I. The Roots of Astronomy A. Archaeoastronomy B. The Astronomy of GreeceC. The Ptolemaic UniverseII. The Copernican RevolutionA. Copernicus the RevolutionaryB. Galileo the DefenderIII. The Puzzle of Planetary MotionA. Tycho the ObserverB. Tycho Brahe's LegacyC. Kepler the AnalystD. Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary MotionE. The Rudolphine TablesIV. Modern Astronomy
5The Roots of AstronomyAlready 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.
6StonehengeConstructed: 3000 – 1800 B.C.Summer solsticeHeelstoneAlignments with locations of sunset, sunrise, moonset and moonrise at summer and winter solsticesProbably used as calendar.
7Other Examples All Over the World Big Horn Medicine Wheel (Wyoming)
8Other Examples All Over the World (2) Caracol (Maya culture, approx. A.D. 1000)
9Ancient Greek Astronomers (1) Unfortunately, there are 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 (not physical!) models.
10Ancient Greek Astronomers (2) Models were generally wrong because they were based on wrong “first principles”, believed to be “obvious” and not questioned:Geocentric Universe: Earth at the Center of the Universe.“Perfect Heavens”: Motions of all celestial bodies described by motions involving objects of “perfect” shape, i.e., spheres or circles.
11Ancient Greek Astronomers (3) Eudoxus (409 – 356 B.C.): Model of 27 nested spheresAristotle (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)He expanded Eudoxus’ Model to use 55 spheres.
12Eratosthenes (~ 200 B.C.): Calculation of the Earth’s radius Angular distance between Syene and Alexandria: ~ 70Linear distance between Syene and Alexandria: ~ 5,000 stadia Earth Radius ~ 40,000 stadia (probably ~ 14 % too large) – better than any previous radius estimate.
14Later refinements (2nd century B.C.) Hipparchus: Placing the Earth away from the centers of the “perfect spheres”Ptolemy: Further refinements, including epicycles
15Introduced to explain retrograde (westward) motion of planets EpicyclesIntroduced to explain retrograde (westward) motion of planetsThe Ptolemaic system was considered the “standard model” of the Universe until the Copernican Revolution.
17The Copernican Revolution Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543):Heliocentric Universe (Sun in the Center)
18Copernicus’ new (and correct) explanation for retrograde motion of the planets Retrograde (westward) motion of a planet occurs when the Earth passes the planet.This made Ptolemy’s epicycles unnecessary.
19Galileo Galilei (1594 – 1642)Invented the modern view of science: Transition from a faith-based “science” to an observation-based science.Greatly improved on the newly invented telescope technology. (But Galileo did NOT invent the telescope!)Was the first to meticulously report telescope observations of the sky to support the Copernican Model of the Universe.
20Major Discoveries of Galileo Moons of Jupiter(4 Galilean moons)(What he really saw)Rings of Saturn(What he really saw)
21Major Discoveries of Galileo (2) Surface structures on the moon; first estimates of the height of mountains on the moon
22Major Discoveries of Galileo (3) Sun spots (proving that the sun is not perfect!)
23Major Discoveries of Galileo (4) Phases of Venus (including “full Venus”), proving that Venus orbits the sun, not the Earth!
24Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) Circular motion and Uniform motion. Used the precise observational tables of Tycho Brahe (1546 – 1601) to study planetary motion mathematically.Found a consistent description by abandoning bothCircular motion andUniform motion.Planets move around the sun on elliptical paths, with non-uniform velocities.
25Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion The orbits of the planets are ellipses with the sun at one focus.cEccentricity e = c/a
27Eccentricities of Planetary Orbits Orbits of planets are virtually indistinguishable from circles:Most extreme example:Pluto: e = 0.248Earth: e =
28Planetary Orbits (2)A line from a planet to the sun sweeps over equal areas in equal intervals of time.A planet’s orbital period (P) squared is proportional to its average distance from the sun (a) cubed:(Py = period in years; aAU = distance in AU)Py2 = aAU3
31Discussion Questions1. Historian of science Thomas Kuhn has said that De Revolutionibus was a revolution-making book but not a revolutionary book. How was it an old-fashioned, classical book?2. Why might Tycho Brahe have hesitated to hire Kepler? Why do you suppose he appointed Kepler his scientific heir?3. How does the modern controversy over creationism and evolution reflect two ways of knowing about the physical world?
32Quiz Questions1. Why are Stonehenge and The Big Horn Medicine Wheel thought to be ancient astronomical observatories?a. Petroglyphs at each site describe how they were used to make observations.b. Ancient Greek writings list the important discoveries made at each of these two sites.c. Stones at each site aligned with significant rising and setting positions.d. Both a and c above.e. All of the above.
33Quiz Questions 2. Plato proposed that all heavenly motion is a. constantly changingb. circularc. uniformd. Answers a and b above.e. Answers b and c above.
34Quiz Questions3. How did Claudius Ptolemaeus account for the retrograde motion of the planets?a. Planets slow down, stop, and then reverse their orbital direction around the Sun.b. Inner planets orbit the Sun faster and pass outer planets as they orbit around the Sun.c. Each planet moves on an epicycle, that in turn moves on a deferent that circles around Earth.d. The Sun and Moon orbit Earth, whereas all the other planets orbit the Sun.e. None of the above.
35Quiz Questions4. Who accurately determined the size of Earth by considering Sun angles at Syene and Alexandria?a. Thales of Miletus (c BC)b. Pythagoras (c BC)c. Eudoxus ( BC)d. Aristotle ( BC)e. Eratosthenes (c. 200 BC)
36Quiz Questions5. One of the first principles of ancient astronomy is that the heavens beyond _____ are perfect, and the Earth is corrupt.a. the atmosphereb. the Sunc. the Moond. Saturne. Pluto
37Quiz Questions6. Who taught that the Earth is stationary and at the center of the universe with the Sun, the Moon, and the planets moving around Earth in perfect circles?a. Thales of Miletus (c BC)b. Pythagoras (c BC)c. Eudoxus ( BC)d. Aristotle ( BC)e. Eratosthenes (c. 200 BC)
38Quiz Questions7. How did Nicolaus Copernicus account for the retrograde motion of the planets?a. Planets slow down, stop, and then reverse their orbital direction around the Earth.b. Inner planets orbit the Sun faster and pass outer planets as they orbit around the Sun.c. Each planet moves on an epicycle, that in turn moves on a deferent that circles around Earth.d. The Sun and Moon orbit Earth, whereas all the other planets orbit the Sun.e. None of the above.
39Quiz Questions8. What feature of Aristotle's model of the universe was included in the model proposed by Copernicus?a. Earth is stationary and at the center.b. Mercury and Venus move around the Sun.c. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn move around Earth.d. Uniform circular motion.e. Elliptical orbits.
40Quiz Questions9. Why did the model of the universe proposed by Copernicus gain support soon after its publication?a. It more accurately predicted the position of planets.b. It gave a better explanation for the phases of the Moon.c. It was a more elegant explanation of retrograde motion.d. The old system of Ptolemy was never very popular.e. It displaced Earth from the center of the universe.
41Quiz Questions10. When Tycho observed the new star of 1572, he could detect no parallax. Why did that result undermine belief in the Ptolemaic system?a. This star is closer than the Moon, and thus stars are not all at the same distance.b. This star is closer than the Moon, and thus smaller than other stars.c. This star is farther away than the Moon, and thus the heavens are perfect and unchanging.d. This star is farther away than the Moon, and thus the heavens are not perfect and unchanging.e. This star is planet-like.
42Quiz Questions11. What was the most important contribution of Tycho Brahe to modern astronomy?a. The invention of the optical telescope.b. The discovery of four moons orbiting Jupiter.c. A model of the universe that was part Aristotelian and part Copernican.d. The study of the Supernova of 1572.e. Twenty years of accurate measurements of planetary positions.
43Quiz Questions12. How was Tycho Brahe able to make more accurate astronomical measurements than had been made before his time?a. He used a telescope to magnify the image and spacing of celestial objects.b. He designed and used large devices to measure small angles.c. His island observatory was hundreds of miles offshore, under very dark skies.d. His observatory was at high elevation and thus above much of Earth's atmosphere.e. All of the above.
44Quiz Questions13. How did Kepler's first law of planetary motion alter the Copernican system?a. It changed the perfect circles to ellipses.b. It added epicycles to the perfect circles.c. It placed the Sun at one focus of each orbit.d. Answers a and c above.e. Answers b and c above.
45Quiz Questions14. Which of the "First Principles of Ancient Astronomy" did Kepler's laws contradict?a. Earth is at the center of the universe.b. The heavens are perfect and Earth is imperfect.c. All heavenly motion is uniform and circular.d. Both a and b above.e. Both a and c above.
46Quiz Questions15. What does Kepler's second law indicate about the orbital speed of a planet?a. The orbital speed of each planet is constant.b. A planet moves at its slowest when it is closest to the Sun.c. A planet moves at its fastest when it is closest to the Sun.d. The orbital speed of a planet varies in no predictable way.e. None of the above.
47Quiz Questions16. If the semimajor axis of a planet is 4 AU, what is its orbital period?a. 4 years.b. 8 years.c. 16 years.d. 64 years.e. It cannot be determined from the given information.
48Quiz Questions17. Galileo's discovery of four moons orbiting Jupiter showed that planetary bodies could move and carry moons. This supports the model of the universe presented bya. Aristotleb. Claudius Ptolemaeusc. Nicolaus Copernicusd. Both a and b above.e. All of the above.
49Quiz Questions18. What phases of Venus are predicted by the Ptolemaic system?a. New and Crescent phases only.b. Quarter and Gibbous phases only.c. Gibbous and Full phases only.d. Crescent and Gibbous phases only.e. New, Crescent, Quarter, Gibbous, and Full phases.
50Quiz Questions 19. What phases of Venus were observed by Galileo? a. New and Crescent phases only.b. Quarter and Gibbous phases only.c. Gibbous and Full phases only.d. Crescent and Gibbous phases only.e. New, Crescent, Quarter, Gibbous, and Full phases.
51Quiz Questions20. The phases of Venus observed by Galileo support the model of the universe presented bya. Aristotleb. Claudius Ptolemaeusc. Nicolaus Copernicusd. Both a and b above.e. All of the above.