Geocentric Model of the Solar System

Ancient Greek, ancient Roman, and medieval philosophers usually combined the geocentric model with a spherical Earth, in contrast to the older flat-Earth model implied in some mythology. [n 1][n 2] The ancient Jewish Babylonian uranography pictured a flat Earth with a dome-shaped, rigid canopy called the firmament placed over it (רקיע- rāqîa’). [n 3][n 4][n 5][n 6][n 7][n 8] However, the Greek astronomer and mathematician Aristarchus of Samos (c. 310 – c. 230 BC) developed a heliocentric model placing all of the then-known planets in their correct order around the Sun. The ancient Greeks believed that the motions of the planets were circular and not elliptical, a view that was not challenged in Western culture until the 17th century, when Johannes Kepler postulated that orbits were heliocentric and elliptical (Kepler’s first law of planetary motion). In 1687 Newton showed that elliptical orbits could be derived from his laws of gravitation.

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