Q:

Who first theorized that the planets revolve around the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

The first person to theorize that the planets revolve around the sun was Aristarchus of Samos, a Greek astronomer and mathematician who lived in the third century B.C. His theory conflicted with the dominant geocentric models of the time, and it was not widely accepted.

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Full Answer

In the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus revisited the concept of the heliocentric solar system and used it as the basis for a mathematical model of the heavens. His work proved revolutionary, and it redefined scientific understanding of astronomy. His work triggered a massive conflict with the Catholic church, which held strongly to the geocentric model of the universe.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the geocentric theory?

    A:

    The geocentric theory, or the Ptolemaic system, was one of the earliest theories regarding the origins of the universe, and it posited that the sun, stars and even the other planets revolve around the Earth. Ptolemy was not the first to suggest this theory, though, as documents indicate that Aristotle and Plato discussed this paradigm.

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  • Q:

    How do you build a model solar system for a school project?

    A:

    To build a model solar system, hang small circles representing the planets and sun from a larger circle. There should be eight small circles for the planets and one slightly larger circle in the center, for the sun.

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  • Q:

    Where on the celestial sphere can you look for the planets?

    A:

    The sun and planets follow the ecliptic, an imaginary plane in the celestial sphere tilted approximately 23.5 degrees relative to the celestial equator. Earthbound observers see the sun and planets move along the ecliptic arc, rising up from the east and setting in the west.

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  • Q:

    What did Copernicus believe?

    A:

    Copernicus believed that the planets in the solar system revolved around the sun, instead of believing that the Earth was the center of the solar system. His model included the position of the Earth and retrograde revolutions.

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