More on Earth and the sun
To the editor:
A recent Public Forum letter to the editor questioned the validity of the sun being the center of the solar system rather than the Earth.
According to the first chapters of Genesis in the Bible, the earth was created “in the beginning” and the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day of time as we know it. A person might then conclude that the Earth was the most important body and therefore in the center of the solar system.
The Stanford Solar Center site on the internet gave the following information: Nicholas Copernicus, a Polish student living about a century before Galileo, had come up with the idea that the sun was at the center of the solar system. Galileo knew this and accepted Copernicus’ theory.
It was Galileo’s observation of Venus that proved the theory. Using his telescope, Galileo found that Venus went through phases like our moon. These phases could only be explained by Venus going around the sun, not the Earth. Galileo concluded that Venus must travel around the sun passing at times behind and beyond it, rather than revolving around the Earth.
Galileo therefore asserted that the Earth was not the center of the universe. This assertion angered Church leaders of the time.
Another site, PhysLink.com, noted that the “most direct observational evidence for the Earth’s orbital motion around the sun is the shift of nearby stars after six months. . . .”