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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Heracleides"

Heracleides [Astro*Index]


(BC388-315). Greek astronomer. Born at Heraclea Pontus (150 miles east of Istanbul) and died at Athens.

Very little of his work has survived. He suggested that the apparent diurnal rotation of the heavens could also be explained, equally well, if the heavens remained fixed and the Earth turned. He also noted that a simpler model than that of the spheres of Eudoxus would obtain if Mercury and Venus revolved about the Sun, which would explain why they never departed greatly from that star. Although he referred to the actual Sun, not the "central fire" of the theory of Philolaus, he failed to take the next step toward a complete heliocentric theory, which was to be set forth by Aristarchus.


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