Kepler's Laws of planetary motion

In summary, Kepler used Tycho's observations to prove that planets orbit in ellipses. Tycho's Great Equatorial Armillary, which was 3 meters in diameter and accurate to approximately 1 minute of arc, was used to gather these observations. Although they did not have advanced technology like we do today, the early astronomers did a great job with what they had.
  • #1
Erenjaeger
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Whose observations did Kepler use to prove that planets do in fact orbit in ellipses ?? Was it Tycho's observations?
Thanks.
 
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  • #3
Erenjaeger said:
Tycho's observations
You really have to hand it to those early astronomers. Everything was measured using the naked eye and some very crude instruments. No Go-To telescopes available in those days. I guess the only thing on their side would have been No Light Pollution. (Put that candle out!)
Respect.
 
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I don't think I would use the word "crude" to describe Tycho's Great Equatorial Armillary that he used to gather the observations that Kepler used. See the attached drawing. It was 3 meters in diameter and accurate to approximately 1 minute of arc. Of course we can do much better today, but for the time it was a very well designed and impressive instrument.
 

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  • #5
phyzguy said:
I don't think I would use the word "crude" to describe Tycho's Great Equatorial Armillary that he used to gather the observations that Kepler used. See the attached drawing. It was 3 meters in diameter and accurate to approximately 1 minute of arc. Of course we can do much better today, but for the time it was a very well designed and impressive instrument.
The word "crude" was comparative and not intended to offend anyone. I wouldn't mind betting that Keppler himself would have used the word if he could see what we use now.
One minute of arc is, in some respects, a barn door. The accuracy of clocks (time is as important as angle) was not good and I would reckon that accuracy of measuring long baselines would also not be very special.
No.They did a great job with what they had to hand.
 

Related to Kepler's Laws of planetary motion

1. What are Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion?

Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion are three scientific laws developed by Johannes Kepler in the early 17th century. They describe the motion of planets around the sun and revolutionized our understanding of the solar system.

2. What is Kepler's First Law?

Kepler's First Law, also known as the Law of Ellipses, states that the orbit of each planet around the sun is an ellipse with the sun at one of the two foci.

3. What is Kepler's Second Law?

Kepler's Second Law, also known as the Law of Equal Areas, states that a line segment joining a planet and the sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.

4. What is Kepler's Third Law?

Kepler's Third Law, also known as the Law of Harmonies, states that the square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.

5. How did Kepler's Laws change our understanding of the solar system?

Kepler's Laws were crucial in disproving the previous belief that the Earth was the center of the universe. They provided a more accurate and mathematical explanation for the motion of planets, and paved the way for future advancements in astronomy and physics.

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