Aristarchus of Samos, the ancient Copernicus...


Book Details

Author  Thomas Little Heath
Publisher  University of Michigan Library
Publication Date   January 1, 1913
Pages  440

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This work owes its inception to a desire expressed to me by my old schoolfellow Professor H. H. Turner for a translation of Aristarchus's extant work On the sizes and distances of the Sun and Moon. Incidentally Professor Turner asked whether any light could be thrown on the grossly excessive estimate of 2° for the angular diameter of the sun and moon which is one of the fundamental assumptions at the beginning of the book, I remembered that Archimedes distinctly says in his Psammites or Sand-reckoner that Aristarchus was the first to discover that the apparent diameter of the sun is about i/720th part of the complete circle described by it in the daily rotation, or, in other words, that the angular diameter is about which is very near the truth. The difference suggested that the treatise of Aristarchus which we possess was an early work...

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