But even as he did this work, a new interest was intruding on his studies. This was astronomy, the study of the heavens, and a field in much ferment during the 16th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, astronomy had been dominated by the theory of geocentricity, which held that the earth lay at the center of the universe, and the sun– and the other planets–revolved around it. This theory, which had been rigorously upheld by Aristotle and the ancient astronomer Ptolemy, fit in neatly with the Catholic Church's view of the universe, as well as with every day common sense: to the casual observer, it seemed common sense that the sun "rose" in the morning and "set" at night, in its circling pattern around the earth. As a scientific system, however, geocentricity required a complex scheme of interlocking orbits, one that became more complex and convoluted with each passing century, as
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astronomer Tycho Brahe, mathematically satisfying way, ancient astronomer