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Need to teach solar system models. Software? Online videos?

  1. Aug 24, 2007 #1
    I am a high school physics teacher, and this year I am incorporating more history into the course, from the first class onwards. Among the topics I wish to cover are the various models of the solar system (which in early days were also models of the entire known universe.)

    I am looking to persent graphic illustrations, preferably with motion, of the various solar system models of:

    * Plato and Eudoxus - set of spheres proposed as a mathematical tool (not clear if they really believed that such physical spheres existed.) Could qualitatively account for planetary retrograde motion.

    * Aristotle - really believed that these spheres physically existed. He even invented a set of counter-moving spheres between the ones that Plato came upw ith.

    * Ptolemy

    * Nicolaus Copernicus - Earth centered, circular orbits

    * Tycho Brahe (Earth centered, yet other planets orbit the Sun

    * Kepler - Sun centered - orbits are finally recognized to be ellipse!

    * Other classical and later models. Perhaps Indian, Egyptian or Babylonian cosmologies?

    * Modern solar system

    Although I can easily find static graphics for these models individually, it has been hard to find video or software that compares some or all of these systems. Can anyone suggest PC software, PowerPoint presentations with motion, or websites with video or animations?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2007 #2


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