Heliocentrism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary Sun at the center of the Solar System.

Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center. The notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun had been proposed as early as the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos, but Aristarchus's heliocentrism attracted little attention until Copernicus revived and elaborated it. Lucio Russo, however, argues that this is a misleading impression resulting from the loss of scientific works of the Hellenistic Era. Using indirect evidence he argues that a heliocentric view was expounded in Hipparchus's work on gravity.

It was not until the 16th century that a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system was presented, by the Renaissance mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic cleric Nicolaus Copernicus of Poland, leading to the Copernican Revolution. In the following century, Johannes Kepler elaborated upon and expanded this model to include elliptical orbits, and supporting observations made using a telescope were presented by Galileo Galilei.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Heliocentrism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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