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The Aristotelian cosmos was like an onion consisting of a series of some 55 spheres nested about Earth, which was fixed at the centre.
In order to unify the system, Aristotle added spheres in order to “unroll” the motions of a given planet so that they would not be transmitted to the next inner planet.
This calendar played an important role in the history of astronomy, allowing astronomers to calculate the number of days between any two sets of observations.
, constitutes one of the earliest systematic, scientific treatments of the physical world.
theory of homocentric spheres, a model that represented the universe by sets of nesting concentric spheres the motions of which combined to produce the planetary and other celestial motions.
Using only uniform circular motions, Eudoxus was able to “save” the rather complex planetary motions with some success.
Celestial mechanics, the science of the motion of planets and other solid objects within the solar system, was the first testing ground for Newton’s laws of motion and thereby helped to establish the fundamental principles of classical (that is, pre-20th-century) physics.
During the following centuries, however, the study of stars, galaxies, nebulas, and the interstellar medium became increasingly important.
Each of these is in turn divided into fields and subfields.
This article discusses the historical development—with due attention to the scope, principal concerns, and methods—of the first three of these areas.
In the 20th century physics and astronomy became more intimately linked through cosmological theories, especially those based on the theory of relativity.
( Physical science, like all the natural sciences, is concerned with describing and relating to one another those experiences of the surrounding world that are shared by different observers and whose description can be agreed upon.
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Believing that the order of the cosmos is fundamentally mathematical, they held that it is possible to discover the harmonies of the universe by contemplating the regular motions of the circular motion.