Astronomy has been a source for myriad ideas influencing every subject. The stars have existed since the dawn of man. People have looked to the universe to determine physical location, gain spiritual direction and to track time. Many early scientists used astronomy to make careers for themselves and print their names in all the history books of time.
Since the beginning of time, the stars and all of the heavens have been used not only as a tool to aid in basic living but also to reveal new and undiscovered things about the time and world people lived in. The times leading up to the 17th Century were filled with many discoveries not only in astronomy but also in mathematics and science. These discoveries lead to many uses from the learned knowledge of these newfound discoveries. The view of the universe at the time of the 17th Century was referred to as the Ptolemaic system. They also believed that all things around the earth were perfect and unchanging. Another popular theory at the time was the Copernican system. This is where the sun is the center, rather than the sun.
One of the main scientists during the 17th Century was Galileo. He believed in the Copernican system. When Galileo pointed his telescope to the sky, he made many discoveries that confirmed the Copernican system. One thing he found was that the moon was not a perfect sphere as thought of in the Ptolemaic system; it had craters and mountains not visible to the human eye. Another discovery Galileo made was that Jupiter had moons going around it. This conflicted with the Ptolemaic system. It proved that the earth was not the only planet with moons going around it. Galileo also found that Venus had phases just like the Moon; this meant that it had to be orbiting the sun. He also discovered that the sun had spots on it that could be used to see how the earth orbits around it. These discoveries all contradicted the Ptolemaic system and confirmed the Copernican system. In 1610, Galileo started to publish his findings on the Copernican system|
In early explorations of the Earth, humans had only their five senses to lead them. Traveling through the forest or venturing out at sea would have been impossible if people had not realized that the stars stay relatively constant in position above them. Following...