10 The Most Important Discoveries in Astronomy

10 The Most Important Discoveries in Astronomy

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What makes astronomy is still so popular compared to chemistry or biology is because astronomers can show us the sweet pictures of their telescope and the size of building. Therefore, it is a little bit difficult to start making any competition with them. Best of all, most astronomers throughout the ages have discovered some crucial things to our life, and even to our future.

10. The Planets, Stars, And Their Movements

This discovery becomes the basic of the modern astronomy. The fact that the stars in the sky follow the fixed and predictable patterns together with the discovery of the planets to follow their own paths is the fundamental concepts in astronomy. Therefore, astrology is still an important major to study about.

9. The Heliocentric Model

There was a big speculation made by astronomers since long time ago about the heliocentrism. This is about the idea that Earth revolves around the sun. But, in 1543 Copernicus was the first person who could demonstrate the math behind this idea so that the concept is now viable.

It took a time for Copernicus’ model so that the idea became accepted universally.  This discovery could remove all the problems from the old geocentric model. The discovery also led to the big change in the field of astronomy. At that time, people started to understand that the sun was a star, not the angry God. Also, his discovery made us feel stupid at the same time for thinking that we were the center of the universe.

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8. The Laws Of Kepler

It was in 1609, an astronomer called Johannes Kepler stated to the world that planets moved around the sun. Planets did it on the elliptical routes, not the perfect circles that most people believed to it. It just the matter of the shape, but it turned to be the most crucial discoveries in science.

This discovery is so important. In fact, elliptical movement means that the distance between the sun and planets can change ever time. This is an important understanding to know how far away the planet is or how fast it can move closer to the sun and how faster it can move. With this finding, astronomers also could predict the motion of the planets much better.

7. The Moons of Jupiter

Galileo is one of the most important scientists who used a fancy telescope to discover four moons that were orbiting Jupiter, back in 1610. The landmark of the discovery was these four months are the first moons of another planet.

In fact, not all discoveries about science are easy to accept. It took many years to accept the concept of heliocentrism. It goes the same for the discovery of Galileo. This discovery became the most important evidence to support the theory from Copernicus. It means, the proof is absolute when it comes to celestial bodies that orbited something other than Earth. Also, they could prove that planets other than earth also had moons.

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6. Herschel’s Map

Starting his research from 1780 to 1834, Herschel worked together with Caroline. He systematically mapped the heavens by charting stars and nebulae. He discovered Uranus that he later,  proposed for its name as Georgius Sidus.

Creating a map perhaps is not a discovery. But, what Herschel have made was so crucial. Once he had finished his map, it revealed the shape as well as the size of the Milky Way galaxy. In addition, the map was not as large as you think. He created the map in the shape of disc with the sun located nowhere near the center. His work cleared up all assumptions and misconceptions about the universe.

5. The Theory of Relativity

You may have heard of Albert Einstein, the German popular scientist. He proposed the idea of relativity in 1915. The theory explains that mass can warp both time and space. Large masses like star can bend light, just like that.

If you want to know more about the truth of the relativity, make it as simple as possible. In fact, the theory of relativity had replaced the theory of mechanics from Newton. This was something unbelievable that Newton’s theory had been the basis of astronomy for the previous 200 years. What Einstein argued was that motion was relative with the concept of time was based on velocity.

This was a new way of thinking to help scientists explained various astronomical problems that they could never solve by using the Newton’s theory. Therefore, the theory from Einstein helped them learn more about how the universe worked.

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 4. The Expanding Universe

Edwin Hubble contributed a big knowledge to the astronomy world between 1924 and 1929. He was the first who discovered other galaxies. He also tracked their movement. From here, he learned that galaxies are moving away from us. Therefore, he argued that universe is expanding.

His first discovery changed the current conception of the size of the universe, at that time. It was also the first evidence that space was really big. From his second discovery, it provided major support for the theory of Big Bang.

3. Radio Astronomy

Radio is very important for astronomy, up to now. The radio astronomy first discovered by Karl Jansky in 1931. What he did was some experiments with the radio waves. He then found signals coming from the center of the galaxy. At that time, he became the founding father of the radio astronomy.

From this discovery, scientists followed what he found and they considered there are many radio waves coming at us from the space. The sources of the radio waves are from the celestial objects scientists cannot see with other methods. Scientists could find many stars and galaxies through this discovery. They also found brand new classes of objects such as pulsars and quasars, we don’t even know about these things.

2. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

Radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson worked together to discover cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964. It is a type of radiation in very small quantities throughout space. Also, they believed it was the leftover of the initial stage of the universe.

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It became the further evidence to support the Big Bang theory. The idea is that the radiation had been there since the Bing Bang, and spread out as the universe expands. Due to this finding, Penzias and Wilson won the Nobel Prize.

1. Extrasolar Planets

The extrasolar planet means that the planet is outside of our solar system. This interesting insight believed by many astronomers. There was an extrasolar planet since long time ago, but we had no technology to proof it. Until in 1995, Swiss astronomers called Didier Queloz and Michel Mayor discovered a planet located in the constellation Pegasus.

This discovery became the evidence that extrasolar planets are out of there. They repeated their method with the expectation to find more planets. Up to now, there are about 500 extrasolar planets scientists can identify and of course, this is just the beginning.

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