Astronomy- The Original Science

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2 Astronomy- The Original Science Imagine that it is 5,000 years ago. Clocks and modern calendars have not been invented. How would you tell time or know what day it is? One way to tell the time is to study the movement of stars, planets and the moon. Many cultures built monuments for tracking the heavens movements and were able to develop elaborate calendars. Studying the ancient skies was so important that ancient people built observatories. ( Babylonians, Maya pyramids, Stonehenge )

3 Over time, the study of the night sky became the science of Astronomy. Today Astronomy is known as the study of the universe.

4 Who s Who of Early Astronomy The careful work of early astronomers helped people understand their place in the universe. Almost everything early astronomers knew about the universe came from what they could discover with their eyes and minds. Not surprisingly, most early astronomers thought that the universe consisted of the sun, the moon and the planets. They thought that the stars were at the edge of the universe.

5 Ptolemy: An Earth-Centered Universe A Greek Astronomer-around 100 AD Ptolemaic Theory-he wrote a book that combined all of the ancient knowledge of astronomy that he could find. He then expanded on it with careful mathematical calculations. Ptolemy thought that the Earth was at the center of the universe and that the other planets and the sun revolved around the Earth. Although his theory was incorrect, it predicted planetary motion better than any other theory at the time. His theory was the most popular for the next 1,500 years. (Geocentric Theory)

6 Ptolemy: Geocentric Earth-Centered Universe

7 Nicholas Copernicus: A Sun-Centered Universe A Polish astronomer (1543) Revolutionized astronomy with his new theory Heliocentric theory-the sun is at the center of the universe, and all of the planets, including the Earth, orbit the sun. The theory correctly explained the movement of the planets around the sun but it did not replace Ptolemy s theory immediately. When Copernicus s theory was accepted, major changes in science and society were taking place.

8 Copernicus: Heliocentric Sun-Centered Universe

9 Tycho Brahe: A Wealth of Data Danish astronomer, late 1500 s Used several tools to make the most detailed astronomical observations that had been recorded to date. Brahe favored a modified version of Ptolemy s theory; the sun and the moon revolved around the earth and that other planets revolve around the sun. While his theory was not correct, Brahe recorded very precise observations of the planets and stars that helped future astronomers.

10 Johannes Kepler: Laws of Planetary Motion Was Brahe s assistant-continued the work after Brahe s death 1609-after much analysis of the Brahe s data, Kepler concluded that all of the planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits and that the sun in not the exact center of the orbits. Stated his ideas in three laws of planetary motion: 1-the sun is the center of universe and the planets revolve around it in elliptical orbits. 2-the planets move faster when their orbits bring them closer to the sun. 3-a mathematical formula used to determine the distance of a planet from the sun. These laws are still used today.

11 Kepler: Heliocentric with Elliptical orbits

12 Galileo: Turning a Telescope to the Sky In 1609, Galileo Galilei became one of the first people to use a telescope to observe objects in space. He discovered craters and mountains on the Earth s moon, four of Jupiter's moons, sunspots on the sun, and the phases of Venus. These discoveries showed that the planets are not wandering stars but are physical bodies like the Earth and it gave him proof that the planets did indeed revolve around the sun, as Copernicus had stated.

13 Galileo: Telescope

14 Isaac Newton: The Laws of Gravity In 1687, Isaac Newton showed that all objects in the universe attract each other through gravitational force. The force of gravity depends on the mass of the objects and the distance between them. Newton s law of gravity explained why all of the planets orbit the most massive object in the solar system---the sun. Newton once said that I could see so far because I stood on the shoulders of giants. He gave credit the observations and ideas of all the scientists who came before him.

15 Edmond Halley: Halley s comet Edmond (or Edmund) Halley was an English scientist who is best known for predicting the orbit of the comet that was later named after him. (1705)

16 Modern Astronomy The invention of the telescope and the description of gravity were two milestones in the development of modern astronomy. In the 200 years following Newton s discoveries, scientists made many discoveries about our solar system. But they did not learn that our galaxy has cosmic neighbors until the 1920 s.

17 Edwin Hubble: Beyond the Edge of the Milky Way In 1924, Edwin Hubble proved that other galaxies existed beyond the edge of the Milky Way. His data confirmed the beliefs of some astronomers that the universe is much larger than our galaxy. Today, larger and better telescopes on the Earth and in space, new models of the universe, and spacecraft help astronomers study space. Computers help process data and control the movement of telescopes. These tools have helped answer many questions about the universe, yet new technology has presented questions that were unthinkable even 10 years ago.

18 Theories of the Universe

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