June 30, 2021
For educational institutions
history of cosmology
⟶ Updated 12 Feb 2020 ⟶
List of edits
aristotle describes the geocentric model of the universe
aristarchus proposes a heliocentric model of the universe. this model is largely ignored.
Ptolemy refines the geocentric universe model, in an attempt to explain the retrograde planetary motion
Ferdinand Magellan observes the Magellanic Clouds, later categorised as galaxies outside the Milky Way.
Giordano Bruno is burnt at the stake for promoting the heliocentric universe model
Nicholas Copernicus publishes a paper, that agrees with the heliocentric model of the universe, and has a number of improvements of Aristotle's model.
Kepler publishes Astronomia Nova, explaining the motion of the planets by using a heliocentric model of the universe, and elliptical orbits.
Galileo Galilei observes the moons of Jupiter
Galileo published his Dialogue on Two World Systems, which argues in favour of the heliocentric model of the universe.
Issac Newton publishes Principia Mathematica, in which, among other things, he explains the law of gravitational motion.
Thomas Wright suggests that the milky Way galaxy is a flattened disk of stars
William Herschel discovers Uranus
William Herschel constructs the first map of the Milky Way Galaxy
Friederich Bassel discovers stellar parallax - the apparent movement of stars due to Earth's movement around the sun.
John Couch Adams discovers Neptune
Ernst Opik demonstrates that the Andromeda nebula lies outside of the Milky Way galaxy
Georges Lamaitre proposes the Big Bang theory, which suggests that the universe began as a giant explosion of energy.
Edwin Hubble discovers evidence of an expanding universe, which supports the Big bang model.
Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discover cosmic microwave background radiation, further evidence supporting the Big bang model
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first human beings to walk on the surface of the moon
Pioneer 10 becomes the first spacecraft to leave the solar system
The spacecraft Galileo returns data suggesting that Europa has liquid oceans under its icy surface
Planet-sized objects Eris, Haumea and Makemake are discovered in the Kuiper belt.
The International Astronomical Union rules that Pluto is not a planet
Astronomers made the first-ever observation of a cosmic event using both light and gravitational waves. This is called multi-messenger astronomy.
Astronomers detected the bubbles in radio waves for the first time, revealing large quantities of energetic gas moving through the bubbles, possibly fueling them to grow even larger
Tthe Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa set a record as it returned the first-ever samples from the surface of an asteroid. The probe made a return to Earth on June 13 and researchers confirmed that Hayabusa had brought back some 1,500 dust grains from the asteroid.
The Laser Interferomater Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration made physics history when it announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves- ripples that stretch and compress space itself. The gravitational waves actually pass through the cosmic fabric known as space-time.
NASA announced the discovery of 715 newly verified exoplanets around 305 stars by the Kepler Space Telescope. The exoplanets were found using a statistical technique called ‘verification by multiplicity’.
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