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Observational astronomy from Tycho Brahe to William Herschel with Geoff Smith, Observations Officer, ASNSW

Friday 7 October 2011 - 8:00pm
Topic: Observational astronomy from Tycho Brahe to William Herschel
Speaker: Geoff Smith, Observations Officer, ASNSW
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: A correct understanding of the solar system rests on Kepler’s analysis of the pre-telescopic observations of Tycho Brahe. In this talk I will indicate how Kepler used Tycho’s observations to deduce his three well-known laws of planetary motion. Although Kepler derived these laws empirically, they provided one of the first tests for Newton’s theory of gravitation when Newton was able to derive them mathematically from his theory. In parallel with these theoretical developments, the newly invented telescope enabled astronomers to begin making deductions about the physical nature of the bodies in solar system. I will discuss some of these early telescopic observations and the difficulties faced by those making them.
Astronomers also turned their attention beyond the solar system, culminating with the work of William Herschel who was the first to attempt to deduce the large scale structure of the universe, thereby ushering in the era of modern astronomy.


Event Date: 
Friday, 7 October, 2011 - 20:00

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