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chapter 3 NATS 1745

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

NATS 1745 –Chapter 3 Astronomy in Ancient Greece  The fragmented Geography and decentralized rule of the Ancient Greek for an intellectual freedom that led to a revolution in scientific thought  The popularity of Plato and Aristotle led to nearly 2000 years of widespread belief in the geocentric model, even though the heliocentric model was also taught in their time  Thales (c.624-546 BC):  Considered the “father of science” for attempting to find explanations for natural phenomena that didn’t involve the gods  His philosophy gained support when he demonstrated that some acts of nature (EG. Eclipses) are predictable  Anaximander (c. 610-546 BC):  Student of Thales  Set the earth “afloat” in air st  Developed the 1 moving model of the universe, in which the motion of the celestial bodies is explained by placing them on spinning wheels around the earth  Pythagoras (c. 570-495 BC):  Student of Anaximander  According to legend, when he discovered that musical pitch is determined by the length of the instruments, he realized: the universe is a cosmos (a harmonious system that obeys knowable laws)  The thought that all celestial motion is perfectly circular, and that earth is a sphere  He led a “cult” called the Pythagorean  They believed that there was a mathematical equation to explain all scientific law  They had their own religion which was based on science  Pythagorean brotherhood broke by 500 BC  Evidence that the Earth is a sphere:  Ships gradually disappear on the horizon, bottom first  Earth’s shadow on the eclipsed moon is alwys round  When you travel North or South, the constellations rise and set more rapidly than they would if the earth was flat  Philolaus (c. 470-285 BC):  Set the earth in motion: by allowing earth to rotate once per day around a “central fire”, the daily motion of the celestial bodies was explained  Herekleids (c.375-310 BC)  With no reports from travellers of the “central fire” he removed it, and set earth spinning daily around its own axis  He placed Mercury and Venus in orbit around the sun, to explain the sun- centered appearance of their motion and the brightness changes  Aristarchus (c.310-230 BC):  Used Earth’s shadow on the eclipsed moon to measure the Moon’s size relative to the Earth’s  Used the angle in the sky between the sun and Quarter Moon to measure the Sun’s distance and size relative to the Moon’s  His measurements weren’t accurate, but he correctly deduced: the sun is much larger than Earth, and Earth is larger than the Moon  This led to him proposing a heliocentric model of the Universe, with only the moon in orbit around Earth (owing to the Moon’s straight night-to-night path around the sky)  Features of apparent planetary motion (IE. The motion of plants we see across the sky):  Planets display both di
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