Why do you think ancient man, including Aristotle, might have thought that the planets revolves around the earth?


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Call me Z Profile
Call me Z answered

Because standing on the Earth and looking up into the cosmos with only the naked eye and nothing else to aid our observation, leads one to believe that the earth is static and the heavens swirl around us, not that the earth rotates and revolves around the sun. For millennia, people actually believed the Earth was flat and the sun traveled underneath the land at night, which begat the concept of an 'underworld'. 

It took until the early 16th century, until Copernicus formulated that things worked much differently.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

The path of the planets across the sky  makes no sense if you consider a "terracentric" (i.e.with Earth at the centre) system. This led ancient astronomers to name the planets thus. Planet means "wanderer". This was not a problem to them, why should a "star" not wander? Of course, once you accept a heliocentric system the orbits make much more sense (although Mercury, with it's rather eccentric orbit was still a bit of a problem for some time).

Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered


"Aristotle (384-322 B.C., Greek), the great philosopher, proved that the Earth is spherical, and believed that it was at the center of the universe. His reason for believing this was actually quite scientific: He knew that if the Earth revolved around the Sun, then we should see the stars shift position throughout the year. Since he did not have the technology to detect this shift, as we do today, he concluded that Earth must rest at the center of the universe. According to him, the Sun, planets, and stars were located in spheres that revolved around the Earth."

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