Heliocentric Theory

Heliocentric Theory

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  • Chapter 34
  • Heliocentric Theory
  • Do the planets, stars, and sun revolve around Earth or does Earth, the planets, and the stars revolve around the sun?
  • I think that the planets, including Earth, and the stars revolve around the sun.
  • By Kirsten and Valerie
  • After people started questioning the geocentric theory, Nicolas Copernicus asked himself if maybe the geocentric theory had it backwards.  This question started Copernicus on the scientific method. 
  • Copernicus then developed a hypothesis or an assumption. This is stage two of the scientific method.
  • The Earth, the other planets, and the stars revolve around the sun.
  • As his experiment, Copernicus used mathematics and observation to decide and come to the conclusion whether or not his hypothesis was right and his question was answered. Experimenting is stage three of the scientific method.
  • Stage four is analyzing and observing your data to answer your initial question.  Stage five is coming to your conclusion whether or not your hypothesis was right and answering your question. Copernicus came to the conclusion that his hypothesis was correct and answered his question. He named it heliocentric theory.
  • In the early 1600's Johannes Kepler, a German scientist improved on Copernicus's initial theory. He too followed the steps of the scientific method, for his experiment he studied past planetary observations. He then wrote precise mathematical laws describing the movements of the planets around the sun. These agreed with actual observations.
  • Copernicus was right and he doesn't know all of it! Based on these detailed records of planetary observations, the orbits of the planets were ellipses , not circles. 
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