Heliocentrism

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Heliocentrism is the view that the sun is at the center of the universe. It was proposed by some ancient Greeks,[1], but it never gained wide support because its proponents could not explain why the relative positions of the stars seemed to remain the same despite the Earth’s changing angles of perspective as it revolved about the Sun.[2] It became the dominant view in the 1700s and 1800s. The idea that the sun is at the center of the universe, was abandoned by the mid 20th century.

Since the advent of relativity theory in the early 1900s, the laws of physics have been written in covariant equations, meaning that they are equally valid in any frame. Heliocentric and geocentric plotting systems are both used today, depending on which allows more convenient calculations. Heliocentric coordinates have the advantage of being closer to an inertial reference frame.

References

  1. Aristarchus of Samos (ca. 310-230 BC) proposed it, Archimedes discussed it, and the idea was well-known in Europe when Copernicus proposed a heliocentric model. [1]
  2. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/260027/heliocentric-system
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