The Link Between Retrograde Motion And The Cosmic Sphere Essay

The Link Between Retrograde Motion And The Cosmic Sphere Essay

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Before the sixteenth century, the common knowledge of astronomy was based off the Ptolemaic model which said the Earth was the center of the universe and everything, including the sun, planets, and the heavenly spheres rotated about its center. It made complete sense at the time because it did account for every planetary motion and it was what the church believed. Claudius Ptolemy came up with this model in about 100 AD for other works of Greek astronomers.
Notably, he assumed each planet moved in a sphere, or an epicycle, around a bigger sphere around the Earth, called a deferent. This demonstrated why retrograde motion appeared to happen. Stars moved on a different celestial sphere around other planetary spheres because that is what Aristotle believed. He believed everything had to move in perfect spheres. There were a couple flukes with just this model, hence to explain the apparent shift in speed of planets, he came up with the “equant model”. This illustrated the Earth being slightly off center and the planets rotated about a point that was the same distance from the center and Earth but farther from the Earth. The last model he created is called the “eccentric model”. This model clarified how if three planets are moving around the Earth and there are two orbitals. One will appear to change speeds and direction as it moves. That is because it switched between the other two orbitals as it rotates.
Although, people were beginning to see a few things wrong with this model as times moved on. One being that the Julius Caesar calendar was becoming more and more inaccurate. By the fifteenth century, it was ten whole days off. It was making the equinoxes occur ten days too soon. Ocean navigation was becoming less accurate as well,...


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...other words, this means the planet’s period of an orbital is proportional to the cube of the size of the orbital. The larger the distance from the sun, the longer it takes for it to complete a single orbit. The period is the circumference divided by the velocity. The trend for velocity in planets is the larger the planet’s orbits, the slower the planets are going to orbit. He just continued to flourish in the astronomy community, publishing a few more books and revolutionizing science as he went. In 1627, he published Tabulae Rudolphine which laid the foundation for the acceptance of the correct view of the universe, at that time. If it weren’t for Kepler, the heliocentric model would have taken much longer to become as popular as it did. He was able to fix what he saw wrong with Copernicus’s original model and make an improved, revised edition that changed history.

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