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ASTR123 G - Assignment Example

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Scientists and astronauts have confirmed, by a number of aspects that the universe is relatively infinite in terms of age and space. However, a…
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The infinity of the universe The universe, theoretically is large than the ‘observable’ universe-the things we see and the extend we judge the earth to be. Scientists and astronauts have confirmed, by a number of aspects that the universe is relatively infinite in terms of age and space. However, a problem arises when the scientists examine the various data from different models. Different models explaining the infinite age of the earth give varied figures on the estimated age of the universe.
Eratosthenes, a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer was the inventor of the Discipline of geography. He was the first person known to calculate the circumference of the earth. He did this by use of stades, using a particular measuring system, which was remarkably accurate. The accuracy of the measurements was based on the assumptions that the earth is a sphere, Alexandria and Syene (places involved in the model) lied on the same meridian with a distance of 5000 stades apart. These assumptions give a significant deviation of 0.16%from the accurate measurements ( Kerrod, pg. 76).
The Ptolemaic model explains the earth as the center of the universe. This model is inaccurate as other astronauts site the sun as the center of the universe. However, this model has been accepted over years, leaving No debate in the field of science. This is because ‘we’ human beings tend to think and believe that we are the center of the universe with all the other heavenly bodies revolving around us, as observed while one is on the earth. It’s not until technology and use of telescopes among other astronauts’ devices, that this model was confirmed wrong. People understood the process of motion and established the up to date model that the sun is the center of the universe.
Similar to lunar phases, the phases of planet Venus, as explained by Galileo Galilei are the different variations of lighting as seen on earth’s surface. The phases of the planet Venus result from the earth’s orbit around the sun, giving an observer a sequence of progressive lighting. It provides a full image when it is o the opposite side of the sun and shows a quarter phase when it is at its maximum elongation from the sun. When Venus comes around to the near side between the Earth and the sun, it shows a crescent phase but a differently new phase when it is between the Earth and the sun ( Kerrod, pg. 110).
Nicholas of Cusa (1401 - 1464) was considered by many to be a man ahead in the scientific field. In his scientific writings, he suggested that the earth was nearly spherical, and revolved around the sun. He also defined each star as itself a distant sun. However, his arguments had No scientific basis. He based his beliefs entirely on his own speculation and numerological calculations. Cultural conditions seemed to give room for free thinking, with a diverse freedom and gap between science and religion.
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was an Italian philosopher who argued that the sun was another star moving in space, and the universe contained infinite number of inhabited worlds. He was found guilty by Roman inquisition on charges including denial of trinity; divinity and virginity of Mary are burned at the stake in 1600. These accusations were based on his pantheist theology of an infinite God, where scholars regarded him as martyr of modern scientific ideas.
Work cited
Kerrod, Robin. Universe. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley, 2003. Print. Read More
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