The earliest models of the world

amye the first model of the world .

Despite the high level of astronomical information of the peoples of the ancient East, their views on the structure of the world was limited to direct visual feelings. So in Babylon formed the view that the Earth has the form of a raised island surrounded by ocean. Inside the Earth is like “the Kingdom of the dead”. The sky is a solid dome resting on the earth’s surface and separating the “lower waters” (the ocean around earth island) from the “top” (rain) water. This dome is attached to a celestial object, above the sky as if the gods live. The sun rises in the morning, leaving the East gate, and enters through the Western gate, and at night it moves under the Earth.

According to the ideas of the ancient Egyptians, the universe has the appearance of a wide valley, stretched from North to South, it is Egypt. The sky was like a large tin roof, which is supported on pillars, in the form of hanging lamps of the stars.

In Ancient China there existed the notion that the earth has the form of a flat rectangle, which is supported on pillars round domed sky. Furious, the dragon seemed bent Central post, whereby the Land bent to the East. So all rivers in China flow eastward. Heaven bent to the West, therefore all heavenly bodies are moving from East to West.

And only in the Greek colonies on the Western shores of the Asia Minor (Ionia), southern Italy and in Sicily in the fourth century BC there was a rapid development of science, particularly philosophy, as a study of nature. It is here in place of simple contemplation of the phenomena of nature and their naive interpretation come the attempts to scientifically explain these phenomena to unravel the true causes of them.

One of the most prominent ancient Greek philosophers was Heraclitus of Ephesus (C. 530 – 470 BC). This he has said: “World, one of all, not created by anybody from gods and none of men, and was, is and will be eternally living fire, natural burning and natural fading. ” At the same time Pythagoras of Samos (C. 580 – 500 BC) suggested that the Earth and other celestial bodies, is shaped like a ball. The universe appeared to Pythagoras in the form of concentric, nested in one another with clear crystal spheres to which if is attached to the planet. In the center of the world in this model placed the Earth around it revolved the spheres of the moon, mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The furthest away was the sphere of fixed stars.

The first theory of the structure of the world that explain the direct and retrograde motion of the planets, created by the Greek philosopher Eudoxus of Cnidus (C. 408 – 355 BCE). He proposed that each planet has not one, but several areas are bonded with each other. One of them completes one revolution per day around an axis of the celestial sphere in the direction from East to West. Conversion another (in the opposite direction) was assumed equal to the orbital period of the planet. Thus is explained the movement of planets along the Ecliptic. It was assumed that the axis of the second sphere is inclined to the first axis at a certain angle. The combination of these two fields is still allowed to explain retrograde motion with respect to the Ecliptic. All the features of the movement of the Sun and moon were explained through three areas. Stars Eudoxus placed on one sphere, containing in itself all the rest. Thus, all apparent motion of the heavenly bodies Eudoxus brought to the rotation of the spheres 27.

It will be recalled that the idea of uniform, circular, entirely proper motion of celestial bodies was expressed by the philosopher Plato. He suggested that the Earth was the centre of the world that goes around it the moon, the Sun, then the morning star Venus, the star of Hermes, the star of Ares, Zeus and Kronos. Plato for the first time meet the names of planets named after the gods, identical with the Babylonian. Plato first formulated mathematicians the task of finding the correct and uniform circular motion can “save the phenomena, introducing the planets”. In other words, Plato wanted to build a geometric model of the world in the center of which, of course, was supposed to be the Land.

The improvement of the system of the world Eudoxus took Plato’s disciple Aristotle (384 – 322 BC). Since the views of this distinguished philosopher and encyclopedist prevailed in physics and astronomy for almost two thousand years, we will go over them in more detail.

Aristotle, following the philosopher Empedocles (C. 490 – 430 BCE), assumed the existence of four “elements”: earth, water, air and fire, from the mixing of which would have happened if all bodies found on Earth. According to Aristotle, the elements water and earth naturally tend to move to the center of the world (“down”), while fire and air move “up” to the periphery and the faster, the closer they are to their “natural” place. Therefore, in the center of the world is Earth, above it are water, air and fire. According to Aristotle, the universe is limited in space, although its motion is eternal, has neither end nor beginning. This is possible because potomu that, in addition to these four elements, there is also a fifth, indestructible matter, which Aristotle called ether. From the air though and are all celestial bodies, whose perpetual circular motion is the natural state. “The ether zone” begins around the moon and extends upwards, while below the moon is the world of the four elements.

Here’s how it describes its understanding of the universe Aristotle himself:

“The sun and the planets revolve around the Earth, which is motionless in the center of the world. Our fire, about his color, has no similarity with sun light, dazzling white. The sun consists of light; it has a huge cluster of air; the warmth of the Sun caused by its action on the air during the rotation around the Earth. Comet the essence of the transitory phenomena that are born quickly in the atmosphere, and just as quickly disappear. The milky Way is nothing like vapour, ignited by rapid rotation of the stars around the Earth. The movement of the heavenly bodies, generally speaking, are far more correct than the notice of motion on Earth; for, as celestial bodies, more perfect than any other bodies, then they fit the right move, and yet the most simple, but such a move could only be circular because in this case the movement is, however, uniform. The heavenly bodies move freely like the gods, to which they are closer than to the inhabitants of the Earth; therefore lights when driving do not need rest and the reason of its movement into themselves. The highest region of heaven, more perfect, containing the fixed stars, therefore, have the most perfect movement is always to the right. As part of the sky closest to the Earth, and therefore less perfect, then this part serves as the seat of the much less than perfect light, what are planet. This last move not only right, but left, and, moreover, in orbits inclined to the orbits of the fixed stars. All heavy bodies tend to the centre of the Earth, as well as every body tends to the centre of the Universe, so the Earth must be motionless at the center”.

When building his system of the world, Aristotle used the view of Eudoxus concentric spheres on which the planets are located and which rotate around the Earth. According to Aristotle, the first cause of this movement is “the first engine” – a special rotating sphere located beyond the sphere of “fixed stars”, which sets in motion everything else. In this model, only one sphere to each of the planets rotates from East to West, the other three in the opposite direction. Aristotle believed that these three areas must be compensated by an additional three inner spheres belonging to the same planet. In this case, each subsequent (toward the Earth) the planet has only a daily rotation. Thus, in the system of the world, Aristotle’s motion of the heavenly bodies has been described with 55 solid crystal spherical shells.

Later in this system of the world was allocated eight concentric layers (of the heavens), which gave its movement to each other (Fig. 1). In each layer there were seven areas that are driving this planet.

In Aristotle’s time there were other views on the structure of the world, in particular, that is not the Sun goes around the Earth, and the Earth along with other planets revolves around the Sun. Against this Aristotle put forward a serious argument: if the Earth was moving in space, then this movement would lead to regular movement of the visible stars in the sky. As we know, this effect (parallactical annual displacement of the stars) was open only in the mid-19th century, after 2150 years after Aristotle.

In their declining years Aristotle was charged with atheism and fled from Athens. In fact, in their understanding of the world, he vacillated between materialism and idealism. His idealistic views and, in particular, the idea that the Earth is the center of the universe was designed to protect religion. That’s why in the middle of the second Millennium of our era, the struggle against the views of Aristotle had become essential to the development of science.

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