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Who Discovered Sun = Center of Solar System?

by Izzhov
Tags: discovered, solar
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Izzhov
#1
May3-07, 07:52 PM
P: 117
I recently did a school project about Copernicus, and after researching him, I have found that he believed the Sun was the center of the Universe, rather than the solar system. So, I was wondering: who was the person who discovered that the Sun was actually just the center of the Solar System - not the Universe?
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MeJennifer
#2
May3-07, 08:09 PM
P: 2,043
One small note, the sun is very close but not exactly in the center of the solar system. Gravitation causes not only the planets but also the sun to revolve a little bit.
Izzhov
#3
May3-07, 08:12 PM
P: 117
Quote Quote by MeJennifer View Post
The sun is very close but not exactly in the center of the solar system. Gravitation causes not only the planets but also the sun to revolve a little bit.
Ok, ok. Let me rephrase my question, then. Who was the first person to prove that the Sun was not actually the center of the universe, like Copernicus believed?

DyslexicHobo
#4
May3-07, 08:35 PM
P: 248
Who Discovered Sun = Center of Solar System?

My guess is Galileo, but that's just a guess. Not really sure.

Edit: If it helps your search, I know that Tycho Brahe was the one to propose that everything except the Earth (and the moon) orbits around the sun, and the sun orbits around Earth. This was just before the time at which Galileo reached his prime years, which is why I'm guessing that Galileo solved the problems that Brahe had in his calculations.
mgb_phys
#5
May3-07, 08:36 PM
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Tricky question - you can't prove the Sun isn't the centre of the universe!
I would say either Kepler showing that everthing pretty much orbits everything else, or Newton showing that you don't need any magic property of the sun, just universal gravitation.
Other than that you could say Hubble for showing the universe was expanding or the CMBG for showing the universe is pretty much the same in all directions - and so proving that there isn't a special centre of the universe for anything to be at.
Claude Bile
#6
May3-07, 09:01 PM
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I don't think one person "discovered" that we are not at the centre of the universe, this was a view that evolved as the influence of church doctrine (which said that we ARE at the centre of the universe) faded and the scientific method gained momentum. Eventually once all the religious hyperbole was discarded, it became obvious that we probably weren't at the centre of the universe, or indeed, whether it even makes sense to define a centre for a universe that is infinite in extent - an infinite universe was a view that was not seriously challenged until Edwin Hubble's work.

Claude.
Izzhov
#7
May3-07, 09:02 PM
P: 117
Ok, let me rephrase the question again. Who proved that the stars didn't revolve around the Sun?
Izzhov
#8
May3-07, 09:03 PM
P: 117
Quote Quote by Claude Bile View Post
I don't think one person "discovered" that we are not at the centre of the universe, this was a view that evolved as the influence of church doctrine (which said that we ARE at the centre of the universe) faded and the scientific method gained momentum. Eventually once all the religious hyperbole was discarded, it became obvious that we probably weren't at the centre of the universe, or indeed, whether it even makes sense to define a centre for a universe that is infinite in extent - an infinite universe was a view that was not seriously challenged until Edwin Hubble's work.

Claude.
Church doctrine was that Earth is the center of the Universe, not the Sun.
Claude Bile
#9
May3-07, 09:06 PM
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The stars were never believed to revolve around the sun. The stars, according to religious doctrine were fixed in their space in the heavens - the heavens being a sphere surrounding the Solar system, with the Earth at its centre.

In response to your previous post - Our evolution of the understanding of our universe would have BEGAN with the church doctrine and subsequently evolved from there. Copernicus himself still believed the solar system to be the centre of the universe, a view that is quite obviously due to the pre-existing doctrine that existed at the time. Over time, we began to "peel away" layers of the church view that did not fit in with observation - firstly the solar system, then the stars, the galaxy and then the universe itself.

When I said "we" - I wasn't specifically referring to Earth, but the Solar System in general.

Claude.
turbo
#10
Jan8-09, 02:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Izzhov View Post
Ok, let me rephrase the question again. Who proved that the stars didn't revolve around the Sun?
You may want to research the history of stellar parallax. In the early 19th century, instrumentation was advanced enough to allow annual observations from the extrema of Earth's orbit to estimate the distances to the closest stars. Variations in stellar parallax (and the inability to see ANY parallax in more distant stars) would have spelled the death-knell for any residing notion that the stars were fixed on a celestial sphere. To the contrary, the stars surrounding us are at various distances.
Redbelly98
#11
Jan8-09, 07:07 PM
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I am just taking an educated guess here, that the answer is related to when did we realize that the sun was an ordinary star?
Carid
#12
Jan9-09, 06:35 AM
P: 283
This looks like an old thread.

Click on "heliocentric" in Wikipedia and we find...

The Greek Aristarchus of Samos, in the 3rd century BC, was the first known person to speculate that the Earth revolves around a stationary sun. It was not until 1,800 years later, however, in the 16th century, that the Polish mathematician and astronomer Copernicus presented a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system, which was later elaborated and expanded by Johannes Kepler.
Redbelly98
#13
Jan9-09, 07:34 AM
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But, the question by the OP is: when was it realized the sun & solar system were just a small part of a greater galaxy or universe? The idea of a heliocentric system does not address the question.

EDIT:
From the wiki article referenced by Carid,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentric ,
it was a gradual process happening over the 18th and 19th centuries:
Quote Quote by wikipedia
The thinking that the heliocentric view was also not true in a strict sense was achieved in steps. That the Sun was not the center of the universe, but one of innumerable stars, was strongly advocated by the mystic Giordano Bruno; Galileo made the same point, but said very little on the matter, perhaps not wishing to incur the church's wrath. Over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, the status of the Sun as merely one star among many became increasingly obvious. By the 20th century, even before the discovery that there are many galaxies, it was no longer an issue.
Not that I'm advocating Wikipedia as the definitive authority ... if anybody has more reliable sources it would be nice to hear about them.
Carid
#14
Jan9-09, 07:45 AM
P: 283
Bruno went to the fire for us all.

I strongly suspect that Indian astronomers had sussed this out. Hindu religion speaks of a vast universe.


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