Global Biogeochemical Cycles9

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Earth & Environmental Sciences
EESC 1158
Donald James

Galileo and the Church: Science and Religion • Early 1600s – Church condemned the Sun-centered theory of the Solar System as contrary to scripture • Galileo Galilei was told by the church to abandon his view of a Solar System with the sun at the center • Unwilling to accept this verdict • Went to Rome, sought permission from Pope Urban VII to publish his book… • Called before the Inquisition • Tried and convicted of proclaiming a doctrine contrary to religious doctrine • Sentenced to house arrest • 1992 was exonerated by the Church 1960’s United States plan to land on the moon ­ Proved that Galileo was right Motion of the Planets Begin with astronomical studies of the early Greeks (600 BCE) Early Greeks: “Geocentric” Earth was considered to be surrounded by a transparent, hallow sphere Celestial Sphere Starts were hung on the celestial sphere, and were carried on a daily trip around the Earth…i.e the stars rise and set like the Sun and Moon But, in spite of the daily motion of the stars, all of the stars remained the same in relative position except for seven “stars” These seven objects change their location from day-to-day relative to the fixed background of the rest of the stars in the sky The sun Moon 5 other “planets” : Mercury, Venus, mars, Jupiter, Saturn Planet comes from the Greek word meaning “wanderer” Claudius Ptolemy Details of the Greek geocentric model of the universe were compiled by Claudius Ptolemy in 141 CE Geocentric model referred to as the Ptolemaic System “Retrograde motion” of the planets – difficult to explain with geocentric model Generally, the planets move eastward against the background of the stars, but occasionally each planet appears to stop, reverse direction for several weeks, and then resume an eastward motion Problem = wandering of the planets, violets the grand celestial sphere model, but maybe with a bit of a modification it will work? Planets don’t just move in circles, they move and situate Ptolemy devised a geocentric model to account for the retrograde motion of the planets He placed each planet on a small circle (Epicycle) which revolves around a larger circle (Deferent) Ptolemy spent most of his life figuring out sizes and rotational rates of all epicycles and deferents necessary to describe motion of known planets Calculations were precise enough that the positions of the planets were accurately predicted for many centuries Renaissance…minor errors accumulated over centuries to the extent that calculations based on Ptolemy’s system no longer accurately predicted the positions of the planets. Nicholas Copernicus Heliocentric (sun-centered) Solar System Early as 3 century BCE, Greek astronomer Aristarchus suggested a very simple explanation for the apparent retrograde motion of the planets: a heliocentric system Retrograde motion with earth at the center = have the earth move at a faster rate than Mars, The Earth is a planet (just like the other five then known) The daily motion of the heavens could be explained by a rotating Earth The Sun is at the center of the Solar System, and the planet’s orbit the Sun in circles Wasn’t able to explain it all with circles  had to use little epicycles to make things work out Heliocentric System Rejected by Aristotle because the motion of the Earth around the sun would result in a shift in the position of the stars called “parallax” Except for the planets, the background of the stars always look the same Simple solution as to where the planets are and how they are moving…requires that the Earth moves How can we explain that the Earth moves? Why don’t we fall off? – Gravity Heliocentric system was rejected by the Church because it is difficult to reconcile the system with the Bible, i.e the idea that humans are the “central” purpose of creation Why don’t we feel like we’re moving? – Everything is moving at the same time and same rate Johannes Kepler Says he can explain everything with sun at the center, and planets moving around He showed that you had to use epicycles rather than circles Discovered the orbit of Mars conformed extremely well with a curve called ellipse Succeeded in showing Mars orbit…also found that the orbits of all planets are ellipses Kepler’s First Law: Each planet moves about the Sun in an orbit that is an ellipse, with the Sun at one focus Ellipse – Geometric curve with the property that the sum of the distances from two fixed points (foci) is a constant Galileo Studied behavior of moving objects Demonstrated that two objects hit the ground at the same time In 1609, he heard that a Dutch lens maker had devised a system of lenses that magnified objects. He then constructed his own telescope Discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter – dispelled idea that the Earth is the only center of motion…countered argument that the moon would be left behind if the Earth really orbited the sun Discovered the phases of Venus Heliocentric: Sun-centered Solar System Newton’s Law of Gravitation Force of attraction is proportional to the masses, and is inversely proportional to the square of the distances between the masses January 27 , 2013 Class Note
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