heliocentric universe


Another teeny, tiny, two hundred year old book.

‘Fontenelle addresses female readers and suggests that the offered explanation should be easily understood even by those without scientific knowledge. This move has been praised by some modern feminist critics as admitting women’s intelligence in scientific matters’.

One of the most persuasive arguments for the idea that the sun moves around the earth was the complete absence of stellar parallax.

That is, the Ancient Greeks realized that if the earth moves, the stars should appear to change position relative to one another. But this doesn’t happen: they appear absolutely fixed in position.

There are, then, only two possible explanations:

  1. The earth doesn’t move.
  2. The stars are absurdly far away, vastly further away than the earth-sun distance. Which was calculated with reasonable accuracy through trigonometry.

Of course, it turned out to be the latter—but that wasn’t obvious at the time. Though Archimedes considered it a viable theory and uses the volume of the universe under heliocentrism as an example of a really huge number (as Scott Aaronson points out in a great article).

In fact, stellar parallax was not actually discovered—and therefore, in a sense heliocentrism was not fully proven—until 1838. (Of course, Newtonian physics implies that the earth must orbit the sun, but if they had not found the required stellar parallax, there would have been a big problem.)


Górecki - Symphony no. 2, “Copernican”

The third symphony, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” outshines Górecki’s earlier two in popularity. And even though the 1992 recording of the work sold over a million copies, there hasn’t been as much enthusiasm or interest from the more general public to explore the rest of Górecki’s output. I can understand why, to an extent. He was more of an avant-garde figure at first, his name only known to other Polish contemporaries and a few other composers around Europe. And though the third symphony is more complex with thick textures, it’s easy to overlook the “hard” stuff and instead listen to the pretty, Romantic melodies. While his second symphony is barely recorded and never programmed, it is still a fantastic piece of music. Górecki was commissioned by the Polish-American Kościuszko Foundation to commemorate astronomer Nicolas Copernicus’ 500th birthday. Copernicus was the Renaissance astronomer who was credited with formulating the heliocentric model of the universe, and infamously he was denounced by the Catholic Church which upheld Ptolemy’s geocentric, anthropocentric view of the universe. Being an artist, Górecki was less interested in the scientific aspects and was more taken in by the philosophical implications. We used to think we were literally at the center of the universe. This discovery shifted that thought and brought on new existential crises that are now at the center of postmodernism. The work is in two movements: the first is catastrophic, clustered dissonance, reflecting on the cosmic/existential dread of the discovery, and the second is a much calmer meditation, pentatonic melodies, seeking optimism in a trust in god, winding down in a more angelic atmosphere. The chorus, baritone, and soprano sing lines from Psalms 135, 145, 6, and from Copernicus’ book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium:

“Deus, qui fecit caelum et terram. Qui fecit luminaria magna… Solem in potestatem diei. Lunam et stellas in potestatem noctis. Quid autem caelo pulcrius, nempe quod continet pulcra omnia?”

(God, who created the heaven and the earth, who made the great lights, the sun for the power of day, the moon and stars for the power of night. What, indeed, is more beautiful than heaven, which truly contains all beautiful things?)

And though the work is born out of thick tone clusters, it has fewer harsh dissonances than his earlier works, and shows him moving toward a more consonant style. I love this symphony so much because it starts off so harsh, angry, ugly, but the ending is transcendent in comparison, and the coda is a nearly five minute drone of clustered strings in consonance. 




This Tiny, Unregarded Blue World - writerstealth - Supergirl (TV 2015) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

It’s a little-discussed fact that Lucifer was not the only angel tossed out of Heaven after his fall.

The Angel of Death and the Recording Angel were thrown out as well, and other angels were promoted to do their jobs (the two originals found homes in what would eventually become Wisconsin).  The Angels of War and of Love were cast down and ended up in Los Angeles.  Most people don’t know that the city was so named because the first settlers found those two angels there, and dedicated the place to them.  Said angels would eventually pay for their sloppiness with their lives, when the Father sent their replacement angels down to Earth to dispatch them.  (Don’t believe what you hear about the original name of Los Angeles being something long and Spanish about the Queen of the Angels.  It’s all made up, just like half of the Bible itself.)

And then, there was Astra.  

She had been the Angel of the Stars, and her sister had been the Angel of Justice.  Astra struggled for centuries to find a place on Earth; she tried being an astronomer, which worked fine in ancient Persia, but she had a bit of a hard time in Medieval Europe, where they didn’t have much love for learned women or people who knew too much about how the stars worked or who supported a heliocentric model of the universe.  Their efforts to burn her as a witch were complicated by her being fireproof, and further complicated by them all shitting their breeches and running away when she gave up trying to reason with them, and simply spread her enormous black feathered wings.

It was a dark couple of centuries for Astra.

Copernicus says “Notice that, in fact, the sun is the center of the universe!” and Feliks “What? That’s impossible. You cannot be serious, Mikołaj, everyone knows that Earth, more precisely Poland, is the center of the universe.”

Nicolaus Copernicus (Polish: Mikołaj Kopernik; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe (Heliocentrism). (…) Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been a part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. He was a polyglot and polymath who obtained a doctorate in canon law and also practiced as a physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist (Wikipedia).

Nicolaus Copernicus - the first person to come up with the mathematics for a heliocentric theory of the universe (technically, the Greek astronomer Aristarchus proposed a sun centered universe back in ancient times, but Copernicus developed it further and jumpstarted the scientific revolution in Europe). In addition to his work and astronomy, he practiced medicine and had a doctorate in canon law.

And just look at him :D

My entry for Let’s Draw Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes as Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik, 1473-1543), Polish astronomer who discovered that Earth goes around the Sun and formulated a heliocentric model of the universe.

I find it quite funny to picture Sherlock not only as someone who gives a shit about Sun and planets, but most importantly as an astronomer who actually developed a mathematically consistend model of Solar System.

My artwork is based on a oil painting called Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversation with God, by the Polish artist Jan Matejko.

You cannot make an important discovery if you are a white male.

First off, I’m appalled at how the media has shoved #shirtstorm off to the side and hasn’t even acknowledged the privileged sexism occurring in our media. Every last white male mansplaining away the very real and serious hurt this man has done to the feminist scientific community.

It’s time to face facts: If you are a white male, you can’t say that you have made serious scientific accomplishments. Chances are, your accomplishments were ripped off from someone else, being overhyped by the media, or was accomplished on the backs of the underprivileged in society to begin with.

It’s like any white male can just put on a sexist shirt and call himself a scientist nowadays, which is why society in general is going backwards. Real men, like Tesla, don’t exist anymore. Men who would devote themselves wholly to science and not their sexist worldviews and hateful ideologies.
 Soon we’ll be arguing for heliocentric universes and presenting witchcraft in front of academic communities, all because a white man with a sexist shirt told us to.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

The father of Heleocentrism, who died almost immediately after the publication of his book “on the revolutions of these heavenly spheres”. His death is cause for a little curiosity due to the fact that the catholic church openly opposed his work as it was against much of what they taught at the time(the earth was said to be the center of the known universe). Oh well, Galileo proved he was right with a telescope so suck it I guess.