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Aristarchus of Samosis the first person we know of who suggested that the earth might go around the sun and not the other way around. He figured this out by looking at the shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse of the moon (now that Thales had shown how to predict eclipses and Anaxagoras had shown how eclipses worked). He used Euclid's geometric theories, and his own, to do his calculations. Most people at the time thought this was ridiculous, and instead followed Aristotle's idea that the sun went around the earth. Copernicus, at the end of the Middle Ages, almost two thousand years later, was the first person to take Aristarchus seriously. Aristarchus also used the work of Eratosthenes to figure out the size of the moon, and to calculate that the sun had to be a lot bigger than either the earth or the moon (though he didn't get the sizes right because he didn't have a good telescope).
 
 
Aristarchus of Samosis the first person we know of who suggested that the earth might go around the sun and not the other way around. He figured this out by looking at the shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse of the moon (now that Thales had shown how to predict eclipses and Anaxagoras had shown how eclipses worked). He used Euclid's geometric theories, and his own, to do his calculations. Most people at the time thought this was ridiculous, and instead followed Aristotle's idea that the sun went around the earth. Copernicus, at the end of the Middle Ages, almost two thousand years later, was the first person to take Aristarchus seriously. Aristarchus also used the work of Eratosthenes to figure out the size of the moon, and to calculate that the sun had to be a lot bigger than either the earth or the moon (though he didn't get the sizes right because he didn't have a good telescope). More

 
    The Sun, Center of our Solar System
  The Sun, Center of our Solar System
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Ear...
 
    Thales, 1st Greek Philosopher
  Thales, 1st Greek Philosopher
Thales of Miletus seems to be the first known Greek philosopher, scientist and mathematician although his occupation was that of an engineer. He is believed to have been the teacher of Anaximander (611 BC - 545 BC) and he was the first natural philos...
 
    Anaxagoras, Cause of Eclipses
  Anaxagoras, Cause of Eclipses
Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in the Persian Empire (modern-day Urla, Turkey) Anaxagoras was the first to bring philosophy to Athens. According to Diogenes Laertius and Plutarch, in later life he was charged with...
 
    Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
  Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. At eighteen, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic...
 
    Euclid of Alexandria, Father of Geometry
  Euclid of Alexandria, Father of Geometry
Euclid, sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclides of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "father of geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (323283 BC). His Elements i...
 
    Eratosthenes, Measuring the Earth
  Eratosthenes, Measuring the Earth
Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminolog...
 
    Copernicus, Earth moves around the Sun
  Copernicus, Earth moves around the Sun
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance- and Reformation-era mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, likely independently of Aristarchus of Samos, who...
 
       
 
         
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