Summary of Astronomical Though Essay

Submitted By brodava
Words: 1579
Pages: 7

Wojciech D. Izydorski

Curiosity of a mankind toward heavens is as old as human civilization itself, if not older. We can find evidence of this fascination all over the world. During studying of my textbook I have realize that from dawn of time civilizations were attempting to map the stars. Some used obtained knowledge and applied it to more practical means such as farming and sea navigation. Some civilizations such Egyptians or Aztecs would use knowledge of the cycles of solar eclipses as political means, since they appeared to command the sun they would control it people. However, with every new discovery came more questions about the universe. With mere size of the universe, one might come to realization of amount of time required for its comprehension. Hundreds if not thousands of astronomers throughout the ages added some valuable pieces of information to astronomical big picture. As Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin brilliantly putted in her 1976 speech " [...] The old scientist cannot claim that the masterpiece is his own work. He may have roughed of part of the design, laid on a few strokes , but he has learned to accept the discoveries of others with the same delight that he experienced on his own[...] (Astronomy Today, Chap. 16, p 383) What we know today about the universe is a collective work of many generation of dedicated man and woman who continue to add new insight of astronomy great spectrum of universe. Some scholars may add a little, some may add a lot, yet some may change our understanding of a matter in question. Such man were Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton. Those man are credited with revolutionizing the study of astronomy. The heliocentric theory formulated by Copernicus caused strong turmoil within astronomy, physics and cosmology. Many man of science considered it as contrary to Aristotle’s physics and the Bible. However, some astronomers were engaged in disputes concerning the importance of the discovery of this new system. The interest in astronomical observations caused by the presentation of Copernicus’s theory resulted in astronomical phenomena which became regarded as inconsistent with the scientific paradigm of perfection of celestial bodies, which had existed since ancient times. This debate would cause man of science to look toward the heavens. This in turn, would create more empirical data, such as one gathered by Brahe which had a crucial influence on Kepler, who in his four works formulated a new heliocentric theory. He based it on Copernicus’s basic hypotheses , on Brahe’s observations, and on the magnetic ideas of Gilbert. Due to scientific debate concerning Copernicus theory a modern physics was being formed – kinematics, dynamics, theory of gravity . Galileo Galilei brought astonishing input to the field of astronomy, while bringging a bit of embarrassment to the catholic church. All was sparked by dispute over two theories of our universe, the geocentric theory and the heliocentric theory. Contemporary science to Galileo, had no real scientific proof of either one. The geocentric universe was believed to be true, since it fit with the theology of Thomas Aquinas and most importantly the Bible. On the other hand heliocentric universe was put forth by Copernicus, who didn't reveal his ideas until he was on his death bed, in fear excommunication. Galileo, became a champion of heliocentric principle. He enhanced a Dutch spy glass, thus creating his own telescope. Which enabled him to discover sun spots and craters on the moon. Moreover he found four large moons of Jupiter. He also noted fazes of Venus, proving that it had to be moving around the sun as well as the earth. Due to his observation he deducted that the earth and the rest of the planets revolved around the sun. However, he and many other astronomers still thought that planets orbits were perfect circles. which is contrary with our understanding. The impact of Galileo's research is…