Abstract detail

Title Aristarchus and Hipparchus

Aristarchus the Samian (310-230 BCE) proposed the Heliocentric System because he could not conceive that the Sun, a massive star, rotates around tiny Earth. Cleanthes, a philosopher, thought the Greeks ought to prosecute Aristarchus for setting the Earth in motion. Hipparchus of Nicaea (190-120 BCE) assembled the first catalogue of 1000 stars with their magnitude and calculated the distance between Earth and the Sun. His crowning achievement was the calculation of the precession of the Earth’s axis using his observations, the observations of Timocharis & Aristillus taken 150 years before his time and the observations of the Babylonians taken over 2000 years. His calculation of the precession was astonishingly close to the correct value of 50.26 arc seconds. Aristarchus pursued high risk / high yield research while Hipparchus pursued low risk / high yield research.

Primary author
Nicholas Fourikis