The Puzzle of Planetary Motion versus

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1 The Puzzle of Planetary Motion versus Finding Earth s place in the Universe

2 Observing the Planets Five of the planets are bright enough to be seen by the unaided eye. This view shows the sky after sunset on April 23, This alignment of all 5 visible planets will not occur again until (Sorry, no truth to the 2012 hype!)

3 Observing the Planets When and where we see the planets in the sky depends on their orbital positions relative to Earth. Mars Mercury & Venus are closer to the Sun than Earth and move faster in their orbits. Mars, Jupiter, & Saturn are farther from the Sun and move more slowly. Earth Venus Sun

4 Observing the Planets Several traditional terms related to the planets: Inferior conjunction = planet aligns in front of Sun Superior conjunction = planet aligns behind Sun Opposition = planet appears opposite the Sun Greatest Elongation = planet appears most separated from Sun Mars Earth Venus Sun Venus Mars

5 At what time does Venus rise when it is in conjunction with the Sun? A. Around sunset B. Around midnight C. Around sunrise D. Around noon

6 At what time does Mars rise when it is at opposition? A. Around sunset B. Around midnight C. Around sunrise D. Around noon

7 Can you ever see Jupiter in the western sky in the early evening? A. Yes, when Jupiter is closest to Earth. B. Yes, when Jupiter is far from Earth. C. No, Jupiter can never appear close to the Sun.

8 Can you ever see Venus in the eastern sky in the early evening? A. Yes, when Venus is closest to Earth. B. Yes, when Venus is farthest from Earth. C. No, Venus can never appear far from the Sun.

9 At what time of day/night is Mercury never above the horizon? A. Around noon B. Just after sunset C. Around midnight D. Just before sunrise

10 Claudius Ptolemaeus, Ptolemy Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer living in Alexandria, Egypt in the 2 nd century A.D. His huge publication, the Mathematical Syntaxis, was published around 150 AD. He attempted to consolidate all of Greek astronomy and develop a more accurate theory to describe the motion of the planets. While he didn t invent an Earth-centered model, Ptolemy refined the idea and added details. He chose to explain planetary retrograde motion with an added motion: epicycles.

11 Ptolemy s Model Ptolemy described the motion of the planets as due to a smaller circle riding along on a larger circle. As the smaller circle turned, it would cause the planet to appear to move backwards on the sky (retrograde motion). The smaller circles were called epicycles.

12 Earth s Place in the Universe Why place Earth at the center? Reason #1: No one can feel Earth rotating on its axis or orbiting the Sun, so the natural conclusion was that Earth is stationary. Reason #2: Earth s motion should affect how we viewed the stars. For example, hold your finger out in front of your face at arm s length and look at your finger through each eye separately. What do you notice?

13 Parallax of the Stars Now imagine viewing a nearby star from opposite sides of Earth s orbit. The star s location should shift back and forth relative to the background stars!

14 No Parallax? Earth Must Not Move. In the ancient world view, the Universe was small so the stars were nearby. To them, parallax should be easily visible to the unaided eye. But a parallax motion could not be observed for any star in the night sky. This negative result was taken as proof by early astronomers that Earth doesn t move!

15 Parallax Does Exist The problem was early astronomers could not conceive of the vast distances between stars. Even the closest stars have very small parallaxes that require powerful telescopes to see. A stellar parallax was first successfully measured in 1838 by Friedrich Bessel in Berlin, Germany. Parallax is used by modern astronomers to measure the distances to nearby stars.

16 Ancient astronomers accepted Earth was stationary because: A. their religious beliefs were stronger than those of modern astronomers. B. their observations of the natural world indicated a motionless Earth. C. they were ignorant and didn t know any better.

17 Nicolas Coppernic ( ) Copernicus studied astronomy and grew to question the underlying Ptolemaic theory. While the overthrow of the Ptolemaic theory is named for Nicolas Coppernic, the idea that the Sun lies at the center of the Solar System dates back at least to Aristarchus of Samos in the 3 rd century BC.

18 Copernican Retrograde Motion Copernican model: Planets closer to the Sun move faster than planets farther from the Sun. All planets orbit Sun on circular orbits.

19 Copernicus Legacy Copernicus worked decades before the invention of the telescope, so he had no observational evidence to support his theory. It was simply a logical replacement to Ptolemy s theory. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres was published just after his death in 1543 and only became widely read years later.

20 A Powerful New Tool Around 1608, Dutch spectacle-makers invented the telescope by combining the power of two lenses held apart within a tube. A telescope produces a magnified image of a distant group of objects. This new instrument became an instant sensation and revolutionized human eyesight. Sailors, soldiers, surveyors, and explorers could now see farther than they could before. The first person to use the new telescope for astronomy was an Italian named Galileo Galilei.

21 Galileo Galilei ( ) Trained in medicine and mathematics, he became a professor in Pisa, Italy. During this time he studied problems of physics. While Galileo is best-known for his discoveries in astronomy, he also revolutionized our understanding of moving and falling objects. While he was a professor, Galileo read of the Copernican theory and thought it was correct. However, he was also aware of the controversy surrounding the Copernican model and made no effort to support the idea publicly.

22 New Observations of the Sky It was his discoveries with the telescope that made Galileo an vocal supporter of the Copernican theory. After less than six months of observing the night sky, Galileo made 3 staggering discoveries. He described these discoveries in a small book called The Starry Messenger, published in The 3 discoveries were: The Moon has mountains and valleys The Milky Way is made up of countless stars Jupiter was accompanied by four companions

23 Jupiter s Family Galileo was amazed when he turned his telescope to Jupiter on Jan. 7, Rather than seeing just the planet, he also noticed 3 small stars next to Jupiter. During the next week, Galileo saw a fourth star and realized that all four were always found next to Jupiter: they were moons.

24 A Modern View Here is a view of Jupiter and its moons using a modern telescope and camera:

25 New Discoveries The publication of The Starry Messenger made Galileo famous across Europe and guaranteed him a lifetime position at the University of Pisa. Also in 1610, Galileo observed: Saturn - discovering giant moons on either side of the planet (now identified as the rings) the Sun - discovering that it rotated and had imperfections that we now call sunspots Venus - discovering a range of phases

26

27

28 Phases of Venus photographed in 2004 Photos by: Statis Kalyvas of Greece

29 In the Ptolemaic model of the Solar System: A. The planets orbited the Sun. B. The planets and Sun orbited Earth. C. The planets remained stationary while Earth and the Sun orbited one another.

30 In the Copernican model of the Solar System: A. The planets orbited the Sun. B. The planets and Sun orbited Earth. C. The planets remained stationary while Earth and the Sun orbited one another.

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