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THE GREEKS The origins of astrophysics date back hundreds of years finding its base in religion and superstition which at the time were as far fetched as the other Aristotle is one of the oldest referances we have In his books On the Heavens and Physics Aristotle put forward his notion of an ordered universe or cosmos It was governed by the concept of place as opposed to space and was divided into two distinct parts the earthly or sublunary region and the heavens The former was the abode of change and corruption where things came into being grew matured decayed and died the latter was the region of perfection where there was no change In the sublunary region substances were made up of the four elements earth water air and fire Earth was the heaviest and its natural place was the center of the cosmos for that reason the Earth was situated in the center of the cosmos The natural places of water air and fire were concentric spherical shells around the sphere of earth Things were not arranged perfectly and therefore areas of land stuck up here and there The heavens on the other hand were made up of an entirely different substance the aether or quintessence fifth element an immutable substance Heavenly bodies were part of spherical shells of aether These spherical shells fit tightly around each other without any spaces between them in the following order Moon Mercury Venus Sun Mars Jupiter Saturn fixed stars This train of thought continued promoted by the church and such entities until the about the third century BCE When the first speculations about the possibility of the sun being the centre of the cosmos In his Sand-Reckoner Archimedes discusses how to express very large numbers As an example he chooses the question as to how many grains of sand there are in the cosmos and in order to make the problem more difficult he
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