The first scientist to come up with the idea of a heliocentric world view was a Polish astronomer known as Copernicus. He figured from astronomers' observations that eh the Ptolemaic, or geocentric world view did not match up with previous theories. Copernicus then sought out to simplify the system developed by Ptolemy. What Copernicus came up with was a heliocentric world view with the Sun in the center of the universe with eight orbits and the stars fixed on the eighth orbit. This new heliocentric theory, however, was as complicated as the Ptolemaic system; Copernicus still used the circular orbits and perfect heavenly spheres that Ptolemy used and the new theory still did not match mathematically with observations.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer that was the successor of Tycho Brahe. Kepler based his work mostly on Brahe's observations and many historians argue that without Brahe, Kepler would not have com up with his theories. Kepler rejected the geocentric theory but knew that Copernicus was wrong because Brahe's observations never matched mathematically with Copernicus' model. Kepler did calculations with Brahe's observations and figured out that the Earth revolved around the Sun in an elliptical orbit rather than a circular orbit. Kepler's theories started to break down the belief of perfect heavenly spheres.
Galileo Galilei is the first astronomer to use a telescope for his observations and he put the nail in the coffin for the geocentric theory. Galileo observed the moon with his telescope, discovered four of Jupiter's moons, and even turned his telescope to the Sun and discovered sunspots. Galileo also made some major discoveries in physics, especially... [continues]
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