Planets

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Model of Ptolemy
Model of Ptolemy
Model of Copernicus
Model of Copernicus
Model of Tycho Brahe
Model of Tycho Brahe

Planets

We see Sun, Moon and stars rise daily roughly in the East, climb higher through the South and set in about the West. Constellations keep their relative positions, but the planets are wondering stars.


Without a telescope we see five planets (who in many cultures give names to the days of the week, together with Sun and Moon): Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These five planets have their place in the models shown to the left .

The planets

These wandering stars show a retrograde movement relative to the background of the fixed stars: at certain intervals they seem to move backwards (in the animation below this is shown for Mars). This phenomenon can be explained as follows:

  • Planets revolve around an imaginary point orbitting the Earth: epicycles in the model of Ptolemy
  • Planets orbit the Sun: models of Tycho and Copernicus

The almost unchanging brightness of Venus supported Ptolemy until Galilei saw Venus having phases (like the Moon), changing size at the same time (see illustrations below). which can only be explained assuming Venus orbits the Sun (Tycho and Copernicus: see picture below).


Explanation of the phases of Venus
Explanation of the phases of Venus
orbit and phases of Venus
orbit and phases of Venus
retograde movement Copernicus explained
retograde movement Copernicus explained
Epicycle and deferent
Epicycle and deferent
Retrograde movement with epicycles (Ptolemy)
Retrograde movement with epicycles (Ptolemy)

Above is shown how Copernicus explains the retrograde movement of Mars: the Earth orbits the Sun faster than Mars, causing Mars to be seen from changing angles.

This principle also applies to other planets.


In two drawings is shown how Ptolemy explains it:

first you see the system with deferent (the big circle) and the epicycle (A). The centre of the deferent is slightlt out of centre: the blue dot is the Earth, B is the equant. Next the movement of planets around the Earth is shown.


It is simpler in Tycho's model: the planets orbit the Sun, which in turn orbits the Earth: this will result in the retrograde movement.

About the Sun and about arguments

The main page deals with the movements of the Sun.. 

Tharguments for the various models have a separate page as has the very large universe .

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