Aristotle knew the earth was round 2500 years ago ?

(ORDO NEWS) — Long before all people accepted the truth that the Earth is round, the ancient Greeks were able to prove it based on their own calculations. But how did they do it?

Aristotle at one time offered several proofs at once that the Earth has a shape similar to a sphere.

Pythagoras is said to have been the first to suggest that the earth was round around 525 BC. The proposal was based on philosophical considerations – the sphere was considered the ideal shape. This was not particularly convincing evidence, but there were arguments and weightier.

Later, Aristotle collected conclusive evidence that the earth was round. He noted that when a person traveled north or south, observing the night sky, previously visible stars disappeared behind the horizon behind, and new stars appeared above this horizon ahead.

He also noted that when ships went to sea, regardless of direction, they always disappeared from view over the horizon as they moved away from the coast. Moreover, when the ship’s hull disappeared, the masts were still visible.

On the other hand, ships heading for land became visible as they approached. Aristotle also noticed that the Earth’s shadow on the Moon during a lunar eclipse was always round, regardless of the Moon’s position. All these observations could only be explained by assuming that the earth is a sphere.

The idea of ​​a rotating Earth was much more difficult to justify. The Greek philosopher Heraclides of Pontus suggested in 350 BC. e., that the Earth rotates on its axis, but most ancient and medieval scientists refused to accept this idea.

The Copernican model of the solar system (1543), in which the earth revolves around the sun, made the idea of ​​a stationary earth illogical, and gradually the idea that the earth rotates on its axis was accepted by everyone.

However, it was not until 1851 that the rotation of the Earth was experimentally demonstrated by the French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (1819-1868).


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