Based on the principle of heliocentrism, today we know that Earth, as well as the other stars of the solar system, are everywhere around the sun. However, it is believed that the Earth is at the center of what is considered to be the universe, and that everything surrounds us – indeed. This is now known as the geocentric mode, whereas the heliocentric mode places the sun at its center.
Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a heliocentric approach in his work published in 1543, according to the NASA Earth Observatory. (opens on new page). While the sun’s focus is right on the center, the whole model is fraught with many flaws. Because the heliocentric method was first combined without a telescope, all observations had to be made with the naked eye and simple instruments. The positions of the stars have been widely predicted by looking at their position and magnitude relative to the stars, according to the book The Solar System. (opens on new page) (Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010).
Revive the mind
The Copernican heliocentric model was the first idea that the sun was the center of the solar system, rather than the Earth. However, Nicolaus Copernicus was not the first to think of this. Just like a thousand years before that, the Greek philosophers Philolaus and Hicetas believed in the 5th century that the Earth could be surrounded by a fiery furnace, according to the American Philological Association. (opens on new page). Aristarchus of Samos, the Greek astronomer of the day, believed this to be the case two centuries later.
Since no one can explain why the stars are so similar to the Earth, the geocentric model is widely known. Claudius Ptolemy overcame this problem with the new idea that the Earth was fixed at the center of the solar system. This concept has been popular for some 1,400 years, where the revival of the heliocentric style has been seen as a new concept.
What was the heliocentric form of Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543?
The importance of the concept
By answering the question of who is at the center of the solar system, astronomers have been able to find answers to other questions. The orbits of Mercury and Venus are located between the sun and Earth, which has shown astronomers why they are so different in size and nature over time, according to and Universe Today (opens on new page).
When it is on the long side of the sun relative to Earth’s position, these stars are much smaller in the sky. When on the other side of the sun, the light strikes the stars giving them a kind of circle.
Nearly a century after the release of Copernicus ’theory, scientists such as Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton were able to use the heliocentric method to create new insights. According to NASA, Kepler and Newton made accurate measurements of the motion of the earth around the sun, while Galileo used his telescope to test heliocentrism.
To read more about the heliocentric model, and to learn about retrograde motion, visit this page on the Penn State University College of Earth and Mineral Science website. (opens on new page). In addition, you can read about the life of Nicolaus Copernicus at the New World Encyclopedia. (opens on new page).