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Realized Earth Is Not The Center
EUROPE IN SPACE HISTORY ROCKETS SPACECRAFT ASTRONAUTS SPACE STATION ASTRONOMY EUROPE
Astronomy is known as the oldest of all natural sciences because mankind from the earliest times has been fascinated by the rising and setting of the Sun, phases of the Moon, and movements of the Sun and planets.
click to enlarge Jan Matejko painting
Nicholaus Copernicus Museum Frombork
In fact, our concept of time as a passing phenomenon was derived from those celestial phenomena.
The ancient Babylonians practiced astronomy. The ancient Greeks and then the Arabs developed it. Eventually it came to Europe.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, European scientist realized that the Sun, not the Earth, was at the center of the Universe. Subsequently, at the beginning of the 20th century, they discovered the Sun also was not at the center of the Universe. They realized that the Sun is an ordinary star among billions.
Famous European names in the history of astronomy include:
- Nicolaus Copernicus of Poland who founded modern astronomy in the early 16th century when he said the Sun is the center of the Universe.
- Galileo Galilei of of Italy who, in 1609, pointed the first telescope at the sky and discovered craters on the Moon.
- Tycho Brahe of Denmark who studied planetary motions in the 16th century.
- Johannes Kepler of Germany who defined the principle of the orbits of the planets in 1615.
- Isaac Newton of England who discovered the laws of gravity and built the reflecting telescope in 1663.
- Christiaan Huygens of the Netherlands who, at the end of the 17th century, was the first to study the rings of the planet Saturn. He drew them on March 2, 1683.
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