History of Astronomy

Astronomy is connected with human history for a very long time. Lots of research were done on this subject from ancient Greece, Egypt, India, and western European country and so many theories developed, some of them were true and some are false but considered as an official theory until new was not found and accepted.

In the beginning era, the planets and star constellations are connected with the mythological god or religious hens the astrology was born but after the Copernicus revolution the modern era of astronomy was born, and from that time astronomy started receiving financial support.

Let’s talk about early ideas on the solar system model and how the actual discoveries were done.

Early ideas of the solar system

In the early days, there was no high-resolution scientific equipment available, so all the research was done only using naked-eye observations and predictions.

Around 100AD there was an ancient astronomer from Egypt named Claudius Ptolemy, who gave the first model of our solar system by considering that earth was the center of the universe and all the other planets and sun is rotating around us. Which is known as geocentric theory.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle also believe in this theory.

Claudius Ptolemy

Geocentric model in which Earth was considered as center of the universe and all the planets rotating around it.

For a few years after the discovery of geocentric theory, there was no research done and this theory was considered a model of our solar system.

Copernicus revolution

In the middle of the 16th-century Polish astronomer named Copernicus gave a true model of the solar system in which he mentioned that the earth is not the center of universe and the sun is not rotating around us. But the sun is fixed and all the other planets are revolving around sun in a circular orbit. Actually, planetary revolutions are not circular but elliptical which was corrected by Johannes Kepler in his research work. This model was known as the heliocentric model. His all research and theories were written in his book named “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium”.

This is the illustration of the heliocentric model described by Copernicus.

Galileo Galilei discovered telescope

Galileo was considered the father of modern astronomy, he was the first one who had developed the telescope and observed the moon – its craters, Jupiter, and its 4 large moons, back in 1610. He also mentioned that there were phases of venus similar to the moon these discoveries convinced the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. but it was not accepted by the church as the majority of people still believe in the geocentric theory of Ptolemy and Aristotle. Because of this last years of his life, galileo was under house arrest and died in 1642.

Galileo Galilei

Modern astronomy

Actually, modern astronomy was born after the 17th century when sir Isaac newton developed high-resolution reflector telescope and gave the laws of gravity and laws of motion. He contributed a lot more to astronomy and physics which helps us to understand the universe till the present moment.

After that William Herschel discovered Uranus and Neptune back in the 18th century. Sir William is also known for the catalog of nebula and clusters which is known as the Herschel 400 catalog.

William Herschel
Sir Isaac Newton
Edwin Hubble

And at the end of the 19th century Edwin Hubble gave brief information about the cosmic background of the universe, he was the first to discover that the universe is expanding, and from then to nowadays lots of research was done in the field of astronomy and still counting…

Now, history was totally changed, old equipment was replaced by the new highly accurate machines and observation become so accurate. But still, there are a plethora of questions are pending to be found like what is inside the black hole? How universe begin from nowhere? Are there aliens in this universe? and many more…So stay connected with the universe to be a part of this mysterious journey.

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