Heliocentric Model | Copernicus ideas of heliocentric model | ScienceMonk

The Heliocentric Model predicted that the sun is at the centre of the universe and earth moves around it along with all the other planets.”

Astonished by the mysterious and mesmerizing heaven upon, mankind has always tried to understand and observe its secrets. With the rising and setting, Sun and Moon, it was natural to think, all heavenly bodies move around the Earth with the Earth at the centre of the universe.

Heliocentric Model

But as scientific knowledge and reasoning got developed, thinkers started to build theories on observational data rather than mythological beliefs. Though, the idea of geocentric model persisted over the thousands of years.

Aristarchus of Samos, a Greek astronomer, was first to bravely state that, the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. But, the theory could not win support from the supporters of the geocentric model and other people.

In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus published “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres,” in which he explained that many suspected, ‘the sun is at the centre of the universe and earth moves around it along with all the other planets,’ which is known as the Heliocentric Model.

Copernicus was aware that the ancient Greek Aristarchus had already proposed a heliocentric theory, and cited him as a proponent of it in a reference that was deleted before publication. Along with that, Indian astronomers and cosmologists also hinted at the possibility of a heliocentric universe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

In 499 CE, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata published his masterpiece Aryabhatiya, in which he proposed a model where the Earth was spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to the Sun. He also accurately calculated the periods of the planets, times of the solar and lunar eclipses, and the motion of the Moon.

Due to the fear that the publication of these theories would lead to condemnation from the church Copernicus withheld his research until a year before he died.

It only when, he was near death, that he sent his book to be published. Heliocentric model resolved issues arising out of the Ptolemaic system.

Also, it was a simplified view of the universe. Copernicus circulated a manuscript stating his ideas and theories of the heliocentric model, which says the following principles.

  • Celestial bodies do not revolve around a single point.
  • The centre of Earth is the centre of the lunar sphere—the orbit of the moon around Earth
  • All the bodies rotate around the Sun, which is near the centre of the Universe
  • The distance between Earth and the Sun is an insignificant fraction of the distance from Earth and Sun to the stars, so parallax is not observed in the stars.
  • The stars are immovable – their apparent daily motion is caused by the daily rotation of Earth.
  • Earth is moved in a sphere around the Sun, causing the apparent annual migration of the Sun. Earth has more than one motion.
  • Earth’s orbital motion around the Sun causes the seeming reverse in the direction of the movements of the planets.

Though slowly heliocentric model replaced the geocentric system completely and our earth found a new place in the universe. Many scientists improvised the idea of the basic heliocentric model.

The work of Copernicus laid the framework and gave direction to many scientists, which was the beginning of the modern astronomy.

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