Discovery and Exploration of the Solar System

Since the dawn of humanity, humans have been looking at the sun, the moon and the nearby planets that are visible to the eye. At a time when scientific truth was not the main concern of human beings, and means of observation were not even a dream, the various human cultures combined the celestial bodies in folk legends and myths and established the abode of the gods in them.

Studying our Solar System

The first to systematically study the physical nature of the stars and their orbits were the astronomers in ancient Greece. The vast majority of them stated that the earth stands at the center of the universe, and the stars and sun surround it. This model is called the “geocentric model”. Against this claim came out in a weak voice the Greek physicist Aristarchus of Samos, who claimed that the sun stands at the center of the universe and first described the so-called “heliocentric model.” His claims were proved and accepted only hundreds of years later, in the observations and scientific discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei.

With the advent of telescopes in the seventeenth century, the science of astronomy became more sophisticated, and today the study of the solar system is a broad and important field in astronomy, and new celestial bodies are constantly being discovered in the solar system. Nowadays the Below The Stars‘ offers an amazing opportunity to capture stunning views of the starry sky and create your own star map.

It was the ancient Greeks who laid the foundations for the world of modern astronomy, noticing thousands of years ago that there are celestial bodies in the sky that stand out against the stars as they wander across the heavens. And they called them wanderers – this is how the word “planet” can be translated. But they knew nothing about the solar system or how the planets move across the sky. Therefore, among the planets – apart from the known Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, they also included the Moon and the Sun.

But that was just the beginning of the story. There were at least a few versions when it comes to how the planets of the solar system arrange one after another. And the present one may not be final.

We look to the sky with typically human curiosity since the dawn of time. Even when we were still convinced that the Earth is flat and that the sun revolves around it, we already knew the planets. And even though thousands of years have passed, we still disagree about their amount in the solar system. Today everyone has a unique opportunity to create their own personal romantic star map of the starry sky as a memory of an important day.

Revolutions in the Solar System exploration

The first big revolution took place thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus. About the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres is a work that has completely changed the perception of the cosmos. With the spread of the heliocentric theory (not without the pain, protests and intervention of the Holy Inquisition etc.), our picture of the solar system has changed as well. The status of the planet, for obvious reasons, the Sun has lost, which is the star, and the Moon, which is the Earth’s satellite. Earth itself has finally taken its rightful place on the list.

Understanding and recognizing that the sun is the central body, and not – as previously thought – the Earth, which turned out to be one of the planets, enabled Johannes Kepler to formulate, based on the analysis of the results of observation of the positions of the planets, the rules governing the real movements of the planets around the sun; these are known as the Kepler’s Three Laws. These empirical relationships found theoretical justification in the principles of dynamics and almost universal gravitation discovered by Isaac Newton.

Our solar system is currently the most fascinating place in the universe known to us. Maybe because the celestial bodies in it are relatively close to us. Anyway, where else can you watch jaw-dropping sights like Saturn’s rings, methane rain on Saturn’s moon, Titan, Jupiter ‘s big red spot, water vapor eruptions from the moon’s underground ocean, Europe, a 21 km high mountain on Mars and more.

There was much more confusion with the number of planets. Already 200 years after Copernicus, a new planet has arrived to us. All thanks to the William Herschl telescope, which allowed us to see Uranus in the sky, today classified as the so-called planets – giants. But then this group included several more celestial bodies, including: Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. By 1851, fifteen such objects had already been discovered and a problem arose. As a result, it was necessary to change the classification and today we simply call the objects just asteroids.

When it seemed that the discovery of Neptune in 1846 would end the planetary dilemma, it turned out that Pluto was already “lurking” behind its orbit. But is it a planet?

The description until 2006 was quite clear. We believed that there were 9 planets in our area, including Pluto, one of them since 1930, inclusive. However, it turned out that size does matter. And in-depth research, conducted, among others, by NASA showed that the proudly named celestial object is one of many similar objects on the so-called Kuiper belt. In 2005, Eris, even confusingly similar to Pluto, was discovered, which forced astronomers to revise the classification once again. Today, Pluto is a dwarf planet, or as such objects are called by the International Astronomical Union, one of the plutoids.

And when it would seem that the technology of the 21st century is so precise that it has not overlooked any interesting celestial body in our System, here is Planet X, also called “Planet Nine”. We do not know yet what place it would take if we were to create a new ranking taking into account the planets of the solar system from the smallest to the largest, but Planet X, announced in 2016 by Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown, may be The “hypothetical fifth giant” suggested by the Nice Model. Research is ongoing because the hypothetical planet could be up to 600 times darker than Pluto. Will the observations in Japan and, soon, in Hawaii confirm the existence? If so, another revolution awaits us.

It must be remembered, however, that this is only a theoretical and terminological revolution. In practice, however, if Planet X does exist, it will exist even if it does not end up in school textbooks.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas, United States. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses grow their bessiness.