Kepler created the three laws of planetary motion. The primary law is that the planets designate elliptic orbits with the sun. In 1605 is when this law was announced, after his foremost discovery of how the planet’s orbit, or move. The next law is: the line joining the planet nearer to the sun sweeps in equal areas in equal times. For an object along an elliptical orbit to sweep out the area at a uniform rate, the object moves q... ... middle of paper ... ..., but also of the modern optics.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived between 1671-1630. Kepler was a Copernican and initially believed that planets should follow perfectly circular orbits (“Johan Kepler” 1). During this time period, Ptolemy’s geocentric theory of the solar system was accepted. Ptolemy’s theory stated that Earth is at the center of the universe and stationary; closest to Earth is the Moon, and beyond it, expanding towards the outside, are Mercury, Venus, and the Sun in a straight line, followed by Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the “fixed stars”. The Ptolemaic system explained the numerous observed motions of the planets as having small spherical orbits called epicycles (“Astronomy” 2).
After Aristitole and the other astronomers, many technological advances were made, such as the use of the telescope in order to be able to see further into the known universe. Aristotles model of the universe created a solid foundation of the universe to other astronomers in order for them to create their own models.
By the turn of the 1600's, the way in which the solar system and the universe as a whole was viewed began to change. With the controversial conclusions of Copernicus, scientists already began to adopt the idea of a heliocentric solar system. Further advancements in astronomy came about through the research of Tycho Brahe and his assistant Johannes Kepler. The three planetary laws developed by Kepler with the data gathered by Brahe shaped the way in which science viewed the structure and motion of the planets of the solar system in profound ways, lasting to this day. A Brief History of Johannes Kepler Johannes Kepler began his studies in astronomy as an assistant to the astronomer Tycho Brahe, whom, by his own right, was a formidable observer of the heavens, despite his rather illogical conclusions about the Earth and the movement of other celestial bodies.
Unfortunately, little is known about Thales' sphere beyond Cicero's description in the De re publica: For Gallus told us that the other kind of celestial globe, which was solid and contained no hollow space, was a very early invention, the first one of that kind having been constructed by Thales of Mileus, and later marked by Eudoxus with the constellations and stars which are fixed in the sky. (Price 56) This description is helpful for understanding the basic form of Thales' sphere, and for pinpointing its creation at a specific point in time. However, it is clearly a simplification of events that occurred several hundred years before Cicero's lifetime. Why would Thales' create a spherical representation of the heavens and neglect to indicate the stars? Of what use is a bowling ball for locating celestial bodies?
Scientific Developments During the Renaissance Historians often refer to the renaissance as a Scientific Revolution. It was during this period that Nicolas Copernicus first suggested the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. This was groundbreaking, as previous to this it was generally thought that the Earth was stationary, and all the planets, including the Sun, orbited the Earth. It was also Copernicus' theory that directly led to the discoveries of Kepler, Galileo and Newton. It could therefore be argued that Copernicus' discovery was the most important of the Renaissance.
The next person to be discussed is Nicolaus Copernicus he was an astronomer and mathematician. Copernicus proposed that the sun was stationary and that the earth revolved around it. His models made the distance from the sun comparable to the size of the planet. Copernicus concept had a misconception that his model did away with the epicycles, but in actuality it just limited the use of models. However, Copernicus’ model showed that all the planets had a circular orbit as opposed to the ellipses.
Kepler later traveled to Prague to join Brahe and work as his assistant until Brahe's death in 1601, whereby Kepler was appointed successor as The Imperial Mathematician. The appointment was the most prestigious honor in all of Europe for mathematics during his time. While working as Brahe's assistant, Kepler was given the task of studying and attempting to understand the orbit for planet Mars. The orbit of Mars was particularly difficult because Copernicus had correctly placed the Sun at the center of the Solar System, but had erred in his assumption of circular planetary orbits. After numerous experiments and mathematical calculations, he finally realized the obits of the planets were in fact not circular as Aristotle had previously insisted and Copernicus assumed correct, but in fact were more elliptical in shape.
This discovery paved the way for the Copernican Revolution. As telescopes became more advanced, scientists were able to learn even more about space and the bodies that inhabit it. More galaxies, planets, and other celestial formations were discovered. The composition and location of stars could be figured out. Unlocking the secrets of the universe also allowed scientists to learn more about the Earth.
This statement killed the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic theory, as their geocentrism theory asserted that everything had to orbit the earth because the earth is at the center (Hawking 1991). Advancements in technology helped convince the public and scientists to give heed to Galileo’s observations and theory. The invention of a telescope during Galileo’s time permitted him to observe the motions and movements of the moons, which gave him more scientific evidence to support his arguments. With the invention of the telescope, Galileo was able to make observations about the universe that other philosophers and astronomers were unable to make. Galileo’s arguments weren’t based solely on theory, but on irrefutable scientific evidence.