Astronomy 2 - orbits around it People used to think that...

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February 7 th , 2008 Astronomy 101 Professor Orosz Homework Question #2 The telescope allows us to see many things that our eyes cannot. A long time ago man thought that the Earth was the center of everything and all other objects orbited it. But with the invention of the telescope, that theory would soon be proven wrong. Galileo Galilei examined the sky with a telescope and by doing so he made two major discoveries about our solar system. The first discovery was the imperfection of the moon. With the telescope Galileo could see the moon more clearly and he noticed that there were mountains and valleys on the moon’s surface. He figured this out because he noticed that there were shadows made by the mountains. The second discovery was the orbiting moons of Jupiter. Galileo saw the moons circling the planet, which allowed him to conclude that there is a center of motion on other planets other than Earth. This supported the Copernicus model, which claimed that the sun is the center and everything
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Unformatted text preview: orbits around it. People used to think that the Earth was the center because if it had any motion, the moon would get lost. By discovering that Jupiter’s moons orbit around Jupiter, Galileo theorized that Earth’s moon could also be in orbit around Earth, and therefore Earth could be in orbit around the sun. Later on Galileo made another discovery when he noticed that Venus had phases including full, gibbous, and crescent, just like the moon had. With this discovery Galileo considered it an indication that the planet orbits around the sun. This discovery of Venus’s phases contradicted the Ptolemaic model; the model claimed that the planet orbits around an epicycle, which is a line from Earth to the sun. If that were correct then we would only see crescents of the planet, not cycles. Galileo’s examination of our solar system through a telescope completely changed our perspective of the universe....
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