# Ancient Cosmology: A Flat Earth. Alexandria

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1 Today Competing Cosmologies Geocentric vs. Heliocentric Ptolemy vs. copernicus Retrograde Motion Phases of Venus Galileo FIRST HOMEWORK DUE How d it work?

2 Ancient Cosmology: A Flat Earth Here there be dragons! Miletus Alexandria World Map of Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 500 BC)

3 Modern Map of the Mediterranean

4 Artist s reconstruction of the Library of Alexandria Eratosthenes became the third librarian at Alexandria under Ptolemy III in the Hellenistic period following the conquests of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy I had been one of Alexander s generals, and had taken Egypt as his own after Alexander s untimely death.

5 Eratosthenes measures the Earth (c. 240 B.C.) Measurements: Syene to Alexandria distance 5,000 stadia angle = 7 i.e, 7/360 of the circumference Calculate circumference of Earth: (7/360) (circum. Earth) = 5,000 stadia circum. Earth = 5, /7 stadia 250,000 stadia Compare to modern value ( 40,100 km): Greek stadium 1/6 km 250,000 stadia 42,000 km It was known long before Columbus that the Earth is not flat!

6 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center

7 Geocentric The most sophisticated geocentric model was that of Ptolemy (A.D ) the Ptolemaic model: Ptolemy Sufficiently accurate to remain in use for 1,500 years i.e., predicted correct positions of planets for many centuries Arabic translation of Ptolemy s work named Almagest ( the greatest compilation )

8 Geocentric Cosmology

9 Heliocentric Cosmology

10 Heliocentric Copernicus ( ): He proposed the Sun-centered model (published 1543). He used the model to determine the layout of the solar system (planetary distances in AU). But... The model was no more accurate than Ptolemaic model in predicting planetary positions, because it still used perfect circles. Heliocentric model first proposed by Aristarchus of Samos c. 280 BC. None of the original work of Aristarchus survives; it is only known through the many criticisms made of it by others.

11 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Hard to tell the difference!

12 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Needs epicycles Retrograde Motion Consequence of Lapping

13 Retrograde motion Planets usually move slightly eastward from night to night relative to the stars. But, sometimes they go westward relative to the stars for a few weeks: apparent retrograde motion.

14 In the Ptolemaic model, planets really do go backwards. epicycle main orbit

15 H.S. in epicycles

16 In the Copernican model, retrograde motion is a consequence of one planet (Earth) lapping another in its orbit.

17 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Retrograde Motion Needs epicycles Consequence of Lapping Inferiority of Mercury & Venus Must tie to sun Interior to Earth s Orbit

18 Geocentric Cosmology Mercury & Venus always close to sun on the sky

19 Heliocentric

20 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Retrograde Motion Needs epicycles Consequence of Lapping Inferiority of Mercury & Venus more natural Must tie to sun - No parallax - Venus: crescent phase only Predicts Interior to Earth s Orbit - Parallax - Venus: all phases

21 Parallax If the Earth moves around the sun, the positions of stars should shift in reflex to that motion. The ancients could not detect stellar parallax.

22 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Retrograde Motion Needs epicycles Consequence of Lapping Inferiority of Mercury & Venus Must tie to sun - No parallax - Venus: crescent phase only Predicts Interior to Earth s Orbit nicer nicer - Parallax X - Venus: all phases unkown to ancients

23 Geocentric Only crescent phase can be observed - never full or even gibbous

24 Heliocentric The full range of phase can be observed - from crescent to full

25 Galileo c First telescopic astronomical observations

26 Phase and angular Fig size of Venus depend on elongation

27 Competing Cosmologies Geocentric Ptolemaic Earth at center Heliocentric Copernican Sun at center The sun is the source of light in both models Retrograde Motion Needs epicycles Consequence of Lapping Inferiority of Mercury & Venus Must tie to sun Interior to Earth s Orbit Predicts - No parallax - Parallax X - Venus: crescent phase only X - Venus: all phases nicer nicer

28 Heliocentric Cosmology Provides better explanation for Retrograde motion proximity of Mercury and Venus to the Sun Provides only explanation for Phases of Venus Angular size variation of Venus What about parallax? Hard to measure if stars VERY distant Finally detected in 1839

29 Galileo c

30 Galileo s telescopic discoveries Stars in the Milky Way Mountains on the Moon Sun spots (celestial spheres NOT perfect) Rings of Saturn (barely resolved) Moons of Jupiter ( Medicean stars ) Earth NOT center of all revolution Phases of Venus Good test of geocentric hypothesis

31 Jupiter and moons

32 Galilean moons (from Galileo spacecraft!)

33 Letter from Galileo to Prince of Venice reporting the discovery of Jupiter s moons

34 Medician stars

35 Heavenly spheres NOT perfect

36 Even the sun has spots!

37 How did Galileo solidify the Copernican revolution? Galileo ( ) overcame major objections to the Copernican view. Three key objections rooted in the Aristotelian view were: 1. Earth could not be moving because objects in air would be left behind. 2. The heavens are not perfect as they should be. 3. If Earth were really orbiting Sun, we d detect stellar parallax.

38 Overcoming the first objection (nature of motion): Galileo s experiments showed that objects in air would stay with a moving Earth. Aristotle thought that all objects naturally come to rest. Galileo showed that objects will stay in motion unless a force acts to slow them down (Newton s first law of motion).

39 Overcoming the second objection (heavenly perfection): Tycho s observations of comet and supernova already challenged this idea. Using his telescope, Galileo saw: Sunspots on Sun ( imperfections ) Mountains and valleys on the Moon (proving it is not a perfect sphere)

40 Overcoming the third objection (parallax): Tycho thought he had measured stellar distances, so lack of parallax seemed to rule out an orbiting Earth. Galileo showed stars must be much farther than Tycho thought in part by using his telescope to see that the Milky Way is countless individual stars. If stars were much farther away, then the lack of detectable parallax was no longer so troubling.

41 In 1633 the Catholic Church ordered Galileo to recant his claim that Earth orbits the Sun. His book on the subject was removed from the Church s index of banned books in Galileo was formally vindicated by the Church in Galileo Galilei

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Motions of the Planets ( Wanderers ) Planets move on celestial sphere - change RA, Dec each night - five are visible to naked eye Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Days of the week: - named after 7

### Chapter 1 The Copernican Revolution

Chapter 1 The Copernican Revolution The Horse Head nebula in the Orion constellation (Reading assignment: Chapter 1) Learning Outcomes How the geocentric model accounts for the retrograde motion of planets?

### Early Ideas of the Universe

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The History of Astronomy Please pick up your assigned transmitter. When did mankind first become interested in the science of astronomy? 1. With the advent of modern computer technology (mid-20 th century)

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The Scientific Revolution Consider the following. Put them in order from most true to least true. 1. That house is on fire. 2. God exists. 3. The earth moves around the sun. 4. 2 + 2 = 4 5. Michelangelo

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