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Chapter 2

Chapter Two Review: The Copernican Revolution

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Brian Wilson

September 20 , 2010 ASTA01H Intro to Astronomy and Astro Part I Chapter Two: The Copernican Revolution Ancient Astronomy (pg.32) Probably wasnt developed for religious or scientific reasoning Instead, it was extremely practical and down to earth, used for: Navigation Time Keeping Tracking the Seasons In many ways human survival was dependent on the knowledge of the heavens Some ancient sites (such as Stonehenge) served as a three dimensional astronomical calendar Also used to indicate cosmic events through alignment with stones (ie: Summer solstice) The Chinese associated astrology with omens Many mathematical techniques involved in trigonometry were developed by Islamic astronomers Astronomys roots come into existence because of the need to track time (mainly the Sun, due to food production) but more importantly, from human nature and the need to know where we came from and how we fit into the cosmos The Geocentric Universe (pg34) The Greeks of antiquity, built models of the universe Cosmology: The study of the workings of the universe on the largest scale www.notesolution.com To the Greeks the universe was basically seen as only our solar system; the stars beyond that were clearly seen as part of the universe by the Greeks, but they were seen as fixed and unchanging beacons of the celestial sphere The objects of our solar system had patterns of behaviour which set them apart from being believed to be within the celestial sphere Observations of the Planets The Greeks noticed movement in the heavens which occurred over time Planets vary in behaviour from the regular and predictable movements of the Sun, Moon and the stars They vary in brightness, and The dont maintain a fixed position in the sky Planet means wanderer in Greek Observations in the past showed that the planets: Sped up or slowed down at times At times, even appearing to loop back and forth relative to the stars Periods where a planets eastward motion (normal path) stops, relative to the stars; and the planet appears to move westward, these backward (westward) loops are known as retrograde motion The Greeks knew that periods of retrograde motion were closely correlated with other planetary properties, such as: Apparent brightness Position in the sky Inferior Planets: Those whose orbits lie between the Earth and the Sun Superior Planets: Those Whose orbits lie outside Earths Key observations of planetary orbits: Inferior planet: www.notesolution.com
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