Copernican system

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Copernican system,

first modern European theory of planetary motion that was heliocentric, i.e., that placed the sun motionless at the center of the solar system with all the planets, including the earth, revolving around it. CopernicusCopernicus, Nicholas
, Pol. Mikotaj Kopérnik, 1473–1543, Polish astronomer. After studying astronomy at the Univ. of Kraków, he spent a number of years in Italy studying various subjects, including medicine and canon law. He lectured c.
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 developed his theory in the early 16th cent. from a study of ancient astronomical records. He retained the ancient belief that the planets move in perfect circles and therefore, like PtolemyPtolemy
(Claudius Ptolemaeus), fl. 2d cent. A.D., celebrated Greco-Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and geographer. He made his observations in Alexandria and was the last great astronomer of ancient times.
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, he was forced to utilize epicycles to explain deviations from uniform motion (see Ptolemaic systemPtolemaic system
, historically the most influential of the geocentric cosmological theories, i.e., theories that placed the earth motionless at the center of the universe with all celestial bodies revolving around it (see cosmology).
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). Thus, the Copernican system was technically only a slight improvement over the Ptolemaic system. However, making the solar system heliocentric removed the largest epicycle and explained retrograde motion in a natural way. By liberating astronomy from a geocentric viewpoint, Copernicus paved the way for Kepler's lawsKepler's laws,
three mathematical statements formulated by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler that accurately describe the revolutions of the planets around the sun. Kepler's laws opened the way for the development of celestial mechanics, i.e.
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 of planetary motion and NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac,
1642–1727, English mathematician and natural philosopher (physicist), who is considered by many the greatest scientist that ever lived. Early Life and Work
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's embracing theory of universal gravitationgravitation,
the attractive force existing between any two particles of matter. The Law of Universal Gravitation

Since the gravitational force is experienced by all matter in the universe, from the largest galaxies down to the smallest particles, it is often called
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, which describes the force that holds the planets in their orbits.


See E. Rosen, Copernicus and His Successors (1995); T. S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (1997).

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Copernican system

(kŏ-per -nă-kăn) A heliocentric system of the Solar System that was proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus and eventually published in 1543 in his book De Revolutionibus . It uses some of the basic ideas of the Ptolemaic system, including circular orbits and epicycles, and was no more accurate in its predictions. Copernicus, however, maintained that the planets move around the Sun (in the relative positions accepted today), the Sun's position being offset from the center of the orbits. The apparent motions of celestial bodies such as the Sun were explained in terms of the rotation of the Earth about its axis and also the Earth's orbital motion.

The planetary motion can be represented by two uniform circular motions: one is an epicyclic motion of the planet about a point D on the circular orbit; the other, unlike that of the Ptolemaic system, is a uniform circular motion of D about the center, C, of the orbit. This requires that the rate of motion of D about C is exactly half that of the epicyclic rate of motion with respect to a fixed direction.

There was a strong and prolonged reaction – especially by the Church – to the Copernican system, which effectively displaced the Earth as the center of the Universe. There was also a sudden revival in astronomical observation in order to test the theory, notably by Tycho Brahe. Tycho's detailed observations, which showed the inadequacies of the Copernican system, were used in the formulation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion. The heliocentric cosmology became firmly established after Galileo had made telescopic observations of the phases of Venus.

Copernican System

(kŏ-per -nă-kăn) The youngest stratigraphic system of the Moon. It includes the freshest lunar craters, formed during the last billion (109) years approximately, many of which have preserved rays. The period began with the formation of the crater Copernicus. The Eratosthenian System (for which Eratosthenes is the type crater) covers the earlier period extending from about 3.15 to 1 billion years ago. It includes slightly older more degraded craters with no visible rays, in addition to most of the youngest mare deposits. See also Imbrian System; Nectarian System.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

Copernican system

[kə′pər·nə·kən ‚sis·təm]
The system of planetary motions according to Copernicus, who maintained that the earth revolves about an axis once every day and revolves around the sun once every year while the other planets also move in orbits centered near the sun.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sherkat uses data from the General Social Survey, which includes a section of 13 questions on very basic scientific literacy, covering topics including continental drift, male determination of the sex of a baby--and heliocentrism. Sherkat finds that although Catholics performed better than sectarian Protestants, they performed worse than both non-Christians and the non-religious.
The circulation of telescopes, letters, and arguments to England, France, and finally back to Italy is traced, culminating in GalileoAEs intellectual triumph in defending his newly discovered facts, year of improved telescope-construction and further study, and final fall under political-religious pressure against heliocentrism. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)
Most people know that the church opposed Galileo's advocacy of Copernican heliocentrism, for which Pope John Paul II apologized in 1992.
Just as Galileo's heliocentrism replaced geocentrism, Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, Sir Ken Robinson's theory of creativity and Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy render the traditional methodologies uprooted and cast away onto the pages of history.
Maelcote was cautious about discussing the observations in terms of geocentrism or heliocentrism. Without a doubt such caution was inspired by the attitude of Clavius, who in the second edition of his Opera Mathematica, after discussing Galileo's telescopic observations, says: 'Since that is the way things are, let the astronomers see how they can manage the celestial orbs in such a way that they are able to save the phenomena' (Clavius, 1611: vol.
Harvill said Galileo's championing of heliocentrism -- the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun -- was condemned during the inquisition of 1616 and got him arrested.
For example, anomalous motion of solar system planets with regard to Earth can be satisfactorily explained by heliocentrism and theory of gravitation, and the anomalous precision of Mercury's orbit can be clarified by the general theory of relativity.
Heliocentrism? No problem from Islam's perspective.
Yet Galileo's findings confirmed the conclusion the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus had made 100 years earlier, that "Heliocentrism'' (sometimes called "Copernicanism'') -- meaning the planets revolved around the sun -- was the correct belief.
Thomas Kuhn revolutionized our understanding of the development of scientific thinking with his notion of "paradigm shift." He painstakingly showed that fundamental paradigms or "models" are the large thought-frames that we develop in our minds within which we interpret all observed data, as well as that scientific advancement inevitably brings about eventual paradigm shifts--from geocentrism to heliocentrism, for example--that are always vigorously resisted at first, as was the thought of Galileo, but that finally prevail.
Ibn al-Shatir wrote three works on making and using astrolabes, and he is also known for constructing the polar-axis sundial of the Umayyad Mosque and who embraced the theory of heliocentrism, and may have been one of the influences on Nicolaus Copernicus' work.
Isik's fundamental error, however, is in who Galileo Galilei was; instead of pioneering Western acceptance of the Earth as a sphere, he supported heliocentrism, the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun.