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Homework Help: Stars in heaven

  1. Jul 19, 2004 #1


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    Well, this is not really a question from homework but it sounds like one, thus I decided to post here instead of posting in the Stellar Evolution subforum...

    Who was the first one to postulate that the light sources in heaven are stars similar to the sun and which argument or ‘proof’ was given?

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  3. Jul 19, 2004 #2


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    Interesting question (to which I have no answer!) but:

    I think you have it backwards:
    The "first" (whoever he/she might be) probably postulated that the sun was similar to the stars.

    If I should venture an answer, I would say Empedocles or Heraclitus (pre-Socratic philosophers).
  4. Jul 19, 2004 #3


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    Perhaps a qualification is in order: the 'first person' to make that 'postulate' will surely never be known.

    As to deducing from extant records which person appears to have been first to have such a postulate recorded, well we can of course answer that!

    You will probably need to make a somewhat arbitrary demarcation too, e.g. 'myths not allowed'. Why? Otherwise a creative interpretation of one of the many thousand stories and myths of native Australians (or Africans, or New Guineans, or ...) could be used as evidence to support a claim.
  5. Jul 19, 2004 #4


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    Yes Nereid you are right, a demarcation is needed...

    In fact, I was not really interested in the first myth or guess about the similarity of the sun and the light sources in heaven, but rather in knowing which was the first proof or the first solid argument for this.

    After reading arildno's post I took a look to greek philosophers and it seams that Aristarchus was on the right track. Here


    it is written that

    but it seams that nobody belived him. Also I did not found any argument. So this would not answer my question.

    ...thus the question is: which (and when) were the first reasonable arguments or proofs for the similarity between the sun and the light sources in heaven?

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2004
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