Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Evidence for Earth Orbit about Sun
Name: Angie
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: NV
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
What evidence was used to prove Earth revolves around the sun?


Replies:
Angie,

Historically, there were two opposing theories: a heliocentric system (the Sun at the center of the universe) and a geocentric system (the Earth at the center of the universe). The geocentric theory was slowly eroded by many different observations: Mars and Jupiter were shown to have moons - and so the Earth was really not the true center if moons revolve around other planets; the planets themselves (meaning "wandering") could not be placed in any kind of circular or elliptical orbit - they seemed to move back and forth in the night sky (hence the name); Venus was observed to have a full set of phases just like the moon - which was a strong argument against Venus revolving around the Earth.

Ultimately, when physics united with astronomy, it could be shown that the mathematical predictions closely followed celestial observations - and this fit more with the ideas of heliocentricity.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius)



Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory