Copernicus And Ptolemy Essay, Research Paper
Copernicus and Ptolemy
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Two of the greatest
astronomers of all time are Claudius Ptolemy and Nicolaus
Copernicus. These men had very different ideas and theories.
Claudius Ptolemy was born around 100 A.D. and died around
165 A.D. He was considered one of the greatest Greek astronomers
and geographers of ancient times. Very little is known about him,
but he did his observations of astronomy in Alexandria, Egypt. His
works are known as Almagest, which means the greatest. Ptolemy
did not believe that the earth moved. He said that since the earth is
round, gravity pulls everything to the center of the earth. The moon,
sun, stars, and planets move around the earth at various speeds. He
also believed that the planets were much closer to the earth than
the stars, but the moon is even closer. Plotemy found that the moon
had an irregularity in its orbit. This is called evection. He also had a
theory of map projection. In one of these theories he miscalculated
the land between Spain and China and the size of the ocean. This
is what led to Columbus sail in 1492. These claims and discoveries
were accepted in Europe until the late fifteenth century, when
another astronomer questioned his findings.
Nicolas Copernicus was born in 1473 and died in 1543. He is
known as the father of modern astronomy and a great
mathematician. He was very well-educated and received both a
master s and doctor s degree. Copernicus was a Polish astronomer
who believed that the sun is the center of the solar system and the
earth is a rapidly moving planet. His equipment was very basic and
he saw things only with his eyes, no other help. He applied his logic
and mathematics skills to work out a theory other than Plotemy s.
He found that the earth travels through space and we cannot see
the movement because we are on earth. He also said that all the
planets are moving in orbits and revolving around the sun. The earth
spins around its axis once a day. He believed that a planet moves
faster if it is near the sun and in a small orbit. Copernicus could not
prove his own theory, but it was later proven to be correct. This is
when modern day astronomy began.
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