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Aristarchus was an astronomer and ancient Greek mathematician. He was from Ionia. Aristarchus discovered a revolutionary astronomical hypothesis. He came up with this hypothesis that resulted in controversial beliefs. Aristarchus was popular for his theories about the Heliocentrism of our solar system.
See the fact file below for more information on the Aristarchus or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Aristarchus worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
BACKGROUND OF ARISTARCHUS
- The knowledge we have about the science of astronomy and celestial observations is based on the observation proposed by ancient Greece.
- The ancient astronomers were also mathematicians and observers.
- Aristarchus of Samos was born in Samos, Greece. He was born around 310 B.C., during the Hellenistic Age. It is when the Greek culture was expanding throughout India, Egypt, the Middle East, and Southern Asia.
- Aristarchus of Samos was taught by Strato of Lampsacus. Strato of Lampcasus was the instructor who was in charge of Aristotle’s Lyceum. Aristarchus’ education was held in Alexandria instead of the Greek city of Athens.
- The Lyceum was built before Aristotle’s time to be a place of learning.
- It most often connected to Aristotle’s teachings.
THE PHILOSOPHER’S IDEAS
- Aristarchus was best-known because of the two things he worked for.
- First, the belief of Heliocentrism, where Earth rotates in its orbit and revolves around the Sun. Second, his work to attempt to determine the sizes and the distances of the Sun and the Moon relative to each other.
- In history, Aristarchus was the first to consider the Sun as the “Central Fire” of our solar system. Additionally, he was one of the earliest proponents of the idea that stars are also suns.
- Aristarchus wrote many volumes of and analyses, but the surviving work he has is the “On the Dimensions and Distances of the Sun and Moon.” However, this did not provide further understanding about the heliocentric universe.
- Instead, it provided accurate instruments and geometric methods in determining the sizes and distances of the Sun and the Moon.
- Aristarchus of Samos also looked beyond the solar system. He suspected that the stars were similar to the Sun. The ideas he proposed were held for many centuries.
- However, his ideas were raised again by the similar but opposite ideas of Claudius Ptolemy. Ptolemy suggested that the Earth is the center of the solar system.
- Later on, Ptolemy’s idea was swayed. An astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, had the same idea as Aristarchus.
- In Nicolaus Copernicus’ treatise, De revolutionibus caelestibus, he credited Aristarchus in his work. He quoted, “Philolaus believed in the mobility of the earth, and some even say that Aristarchus of Samos was of that opinion.” Copernicus acknowledges that someone else had already deduced the Sun and Earth’s exact position in the Solar system.
MEASURING THE CELESTIAL BODIES
- Based on the knowledge the generation has now, Aristarchus used many modern geometric methods and formulas designed to measure celestial bodies.
- He observed the lunar eclipse to determine the radius of the moon.
- He concluded that the moon is 50% larger than the radius of the Earth.
- The given measurement was not entirely accurate because the actual measurement is about 25% times larger. The possible reason for the wrong measurement was the lack of accurate instruments and inadequate knowledge of mathematics.
- Aristarchus also observed the overestimation of the distance between the moon and the Earth. The figures he presented were not completely incorrect. However, the measurement of the distance between the moon and the Sun was spectacularly off.
- Even though the measurements were off, he used a geometric method that was right. After Aristarchus died other astronomers used similar methods that came up to have more accurate figures.
THE CONFLICT OF IDEAS
- All of the philosophers did not respect Aristarchus’s ideas in his time.
- His ideas were directly the opposite of the ideas of the philosopher and Greek-Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy.
- The two philosophers proposed that the Earth was the center of the universe.
- No surviving record of Aristarchus’s life was condemned for the contrary of how the visions of the cosmos worked.
- However, not all of his works exist today. Only a few fragments are left to provide knowledge about him.
- Yet, Aristarchus was the first philosopher to work and mathematically determine the measurement of distances in space.
DEATH OF ARISTARCHUS OF SAMOS
- The Ancient Greek astronomer died circa 230 B.C. He did not have much recognition in his times. But, as the generations pass, he was greatly recognized.
- A moon’s crater was named after him. It is located at the center of the heavenly body were the peak has the brightest formation on the moon.
- The crater is located on the edge of the Aristarchus Plateau. It is a volcanic region on the lunar surface.
- Giovanni Riccioli was the 17th-century astronomer who suggested to have a moon’s crater named after Aristarchus to honor him.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Aristarchus across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Aristarchus worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Aristarchus who was an astronomer and ancient Greek mathematician. He was from Ionia. Aristarchus discovered a revolutionary astronomical hypothesis. He came up with this hypothesis that resulted in controversial beliefs. Aristarchus was popular for his theories about the Heliocentrism of our solar system.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Aristarchus Facts
- The Contradicting Theory
- Aristarchus of Samos
- The Philosopher’s Comic
- The Missing Piece.
- The Astronomer’s Guide
- Space Finding
- Jumbled Space
- Crater’s Changing
- Observing Mysteries
- A Great Philosopher
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Link will appear as Aristarchus Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 4, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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