Summary of the Ptolemaic Earth centered view of the Universe; how the Earth centered (geocentric) view held currency for more than 1000 years; Copernicus and the sun centered (heliocentric) view of the Universe; why Copernicus harbored doubts about the sun centered model; an explanation of the stellar parallax; using the geometry of the Earth to calculate distance. ‘De Revolutionibus’ is published.
This science project looks at the life of Edmond Halley and his work predicting the return of the comet that now bears his name. We investigate Comet Halley’s nucleus and its seventy-six year elliptical orbit. We consider how the orbit of the comet leaves debris in its wake and why meteor showers occur twice a year as a result. We briefly look at some of Edmond Halley’s other notable achievements.
William Herschel and his discovery of Uranus;mistaking Uranus for a comet; appointment as personal astronomer to the king; building a 40 foot telescope; his discovery of two moons of Saturn Mimas and Enceladus; his discovery of two moons of Uranus Titania and Oberon; observations about the Martian ice cap; invention of the term ‘asteroid’; discovery of infrared light; discovery that corals are animals and not plants
William Herschel’s early life and reasons for moving from Germany to England; how this accomplished musician became interested in astronomy; building his own telescope; refractor and reflector telescopes explained; discovery of binary stars and nebulae; hypothesis that nebulae were not only clouds of cosmic gas and dust but also contained stars; mapping the Milky Way; imaginary men on the moon!