Article ID: CBB573664538

How to Make the Earth Orbit the Sun in 1614 (2019)


In 1614 the Jesuit astronomer Christoph Scheiner and his student, Johann Georg Locher, proposed a physical mechanism to explain how the Earth could orbit the sun. An orbit, they said, is a perpetual fall. They proposed this despite the fact that they rejected the Copernican system, citing problems with falling bodies and the sizes of stars under that system. In 1651 and again in 1680, Jesuit writers Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Athanasius Kircher, respectively, considered and rejected outright this idea of an orbit as a perpetual fall. Thus this important concept of an orbit was proposed, considered, and rejected well before Isaac Newton would use an entirely different physics to make the idea that an orbit is a perpetual fall the common way of envisioning and explaining orbits.

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Authors & Contributors
Graney, Christopher M.
Marcacci, Flavia
Gambaro, Ivana L.
Hamel, Jürgen
Dick, Wolfgang R.
Castaldi, Francesco
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Physics in Perspective
Tarikh-e Elm (The Iranian Journal for the History of Science)
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
University of Notre Dame Press
Verlag Harri Deutsch
Pavia University Press
Science and religion
Orbits; planets
Riccioli, Giovanni Battista
Galilei, Galileo
Copernicus, Nicolaus
Brahe, Tycho
Scheiner, Christoph
Cassini, Jean Dominique
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
18th century
19th century
Bologna (Italy)
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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