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Unformatted text preview: the other, causes the apparent position of the object to change with respect to the background). The first two objections were not valid because they represent an inadequate understanding of the physics of motion that would only be corrected in the 17th century. The third objection is valid, but failed to account for what we now know to be the enormous distances to the stars. As illustrated in the following figure, the amount of parallax decreases with distance. Parallax is larger for closer objects The parallax effect is there, but it is very small because the stars are so far away that their parallax can only be observed with very precise instruments. Indeed, the parallax of stars was not measured conclusively until the year 1838. Thus, the heliocentric idea of Aristarchus was quickly forgotten and Western thought stagnated for almost 2000 years as it waited for Copernicus to revive the heliocentric theory....
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- Fall '10
- Anthropology, Heliocentrism, Samos, Aristarchus of Samos