Voyages of Discovery: Copernicus to the Big Bang

    In 1543, Nicolas Copernicus published, "On the Revolutions of
    Heavenly Spheres", which began the first of three revolutions
    in cosmology. This is where we begin our eight week course --
    learning about some of the major players, discovering the
    unfolding universe, and making the case for modern cosmology.

    These weekly voyages will include video clips, an overview of
    what we have learned and are leaning about our universe and how
    it works, and include resources for those who want to learn
    more. With time for your questions.
  Ptolemaic System
  Nicolas Copernicus

    When "On the Revolutions" appeared in 1543, it was attacked by
    Protestant theologians who held the premise of a heliocentric
    universe to be unbiblical. Copernicus' theories, they reasoned,
    might lead people to believe that they are simply part of a
    natural order, and not masters of nature, the center around
    which nature was ordered.

    Because of clerical opposition, and perhaps also general
    incredulity at the prospect of a non-geocentric universe,
    between 1543 and 1600, fewer than a dozen scientists embraced
    Copernican theory.
    But among those "scientists" being influenced by Copernicus'
    Sun centered cosmology where Tycho Brahe, Johannas Kepler and
    Galileo Galilei.
                       Copernicus (1473-1543)
        Tycho Brahe   Johannas Kepler       Galileo Galilei
        (1546-1601)    (1571-1630)           (1564-1642)

    It was Copernicus' little book that really got the revolution
    going. Isaac Newton would eventually put it all together in
    his Principia, giving us Classical Mechanics, and a theory of 
    gravitation that worked in the heavens the same as on Earth.

  Copernican Principle

  Proof that the Earth goes around the Sun