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Early Astronomy

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  1. Early Astronomy Chapter 22, Section 1

  2. Ancient Greeks • Astronomy – the scientific study of the universe; it includes the observation and interpretation of celestial bodies and phenomenon • The “Golden Age” of astronomy (600 B.C.-A.D. 150) was centered in Greece • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) concluded that Earth is round because it always casts a curved shadow on the moon • Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.) was the first to successfully establish the size of Earth using geometry • Hipparchus (2nd Century B.C.) determined the location of almost 850 stars, measured the length of the year to within minutes of today’s standard, and developed a method for predicting lunar eclipses

  3. Calculating Earth’s Circumference

  4. Geocentric Model • Geocentric – describes the concept of an Earth-centered universe • In the geocentric model, the moon, sun, and the known planets—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—orbit Earth • Beyond the planets was a transparent, hollow sphere on which the stars traveled daily around Earth (the celestial sphere) • All of the heavenly bodies, except seven (the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), appeared to remain in the same relative position to one another

  5. Geocentric model

  6. Heliocentric Model • Aristarchus (312-230 B.C.) was the first Greek to believe in a heliocentric universe • Heliocentric – describes the view that the sun is at the center of the solar system • In the heliocentric model, Earth and the other planets orbit the sun • Aristarchus used geometry to calculate the relative distances from Earth to the sun and from Earth to the moon • He used theses distances to calculate the size of the sun and the moon (which ended up being much too small) • Although there was much evidence to support a sun-centered view, the Earth-centered view dominated Western thought for nearly 2000 years

  7. Heliocentric Model

  8. Concept Check • Compare and contrast the geocentric and heliocentric models of the universe. • In the geocentric model, the sun and planets revolve around Earth. In the heliocentric model, Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun.

  9. Ptolemaic System • Claudius Ptolemy published a 13-volume work in A.D. 141 that presented a model of the universe called the Ptolemaic system • His theory accounted for the movement of the planets with enough precision that it went unchallenged for nearly 13 centuries • Ptolemy’s model had the planets moving in circular orbits around a motionless Earth • Periodically, each planet appears to stop, reverse direction for a time, and then resume an eastward direction • Retrograde Motion – The apparent westward drift of the planets with respect to the stars • This apparent motion results from the combination of the motion of Earth and the planet’s own motion around the sun

  10. Ptolemy’s Model

  11. Retrograde Motion of Mars

  12. Concept Check • What geometric arrangements did Ptolemy use to explain retrograde motion? • Ptolemy showed planets moving in circular orbits around Earth.

  13. The Birth of Modern Astronomy • The first great astronomer to emerge after the Middle Ages was Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) • Copernicus concluded that Earth was a planet, and proposed a model of the solar system with the sun at the center • He used circles to represent the planets’ orbits • Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) designed and built instruments which allowed him to measure the locations of the heavenly bodies • Brahe’s observations, especially of Mars, were far more precise than any made previously • Brahe’s assistant, Johannes Kepler, kept most of Brahe’s observations and put them to exceptional use

  14. Copernicus and Brahe

  15. Concept Check • What major change did Copernicus make in the Ptolemaic system? • Copernicus placed the sun at the center of the solar system.

  16. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) • Kepler discovered three laws of planetary motion • He realized that a circular orbit did not fit Brahe’s observations for Mars, but an ellipse did • Ellipse – an oval • The path of each planet around the sun is an ellipse, with the sun at one focus • Each planet revolves so that an imaginary line connecting it to the sun sweeps over equal areas in equal time intervals • The square of the length of time it takes a planet to orbit the sun (orbital period) is proportional to the cube of its mean distance to the sun (T2 = d3) • Astronomical Unit (AU) – average distance from Earth to the sun (~150 million kilometers)

  17. Johannes Kepler

  18. Kepler’s 2nd Law

  19. Period of Revolution and Solar Distances of Planets

  20. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) • Galileo’s most important contributions were his descriptions of the behavior of moving objects. • All astronomical discoveries before Galileo’s time were made without the aid of a telescope (invented in 1609) • Galileo constructed his own telescope and used it to view the universe, he made many important discoveries: • The discovery of four satellites, or moons, orbiting Jupiter • The discovery that the planets are circular disks, not just points of light, as was previously thought • The discovery that Venus has phases just like the moon • The discovery that the moon’s surface was not smooth • The discovery that the sun had sunspots, or dark regions

  21. Galileo Galilei

  22. Concept Check • What role did the telescope play in Galileo’s contributions to science?

  23. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) • The problem was not to explain the force that keeps the planets moving but rather to determine the force that keeps them from going in a straight line out into space • Although others had theorized the existence of such a force, Newton was the first to formulate and test the law of universal gravitation • According to Newton, every body in the universe attracts every other body with a force that is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers of mass • The greater the mass of an object, the greater its gravitational force • Newton proved that the force of gravity, combined with the tendency of a planet to remain in straight-line motion, results in the elliptical orbits that Kepler discovered

  24. Sir Isaac Newton

  25. Newton’s Law

  26. Assignment • Read Chapter 22, Section 1 (pg. 614-621) • Do Chapter 22 Assessment #1-34 (pg. 639-640)