The Saint Peter Renaissance Museum

Presenting: The Astronomy Exhibit

Introducing the Astronomy Exhibit

The Renaissance Museum presents our brand new Astronomy Exhibit! It includes information about astronomers, like Nicolaus Copernicus and
Zacharias, improvements upon the microscope and telescope, and heliocentric and geocentric models.

Heliocentric vs. Geocentric

Heliocentism is a model of the solar system with the Sun as the center, with the plants in orbit around it. Geocentrism is a model with the Earth placed in the center of the universe and the sun and planets, rotate around it. During the Renaissance, the majority of people believed in a geocentric solar system. The Catholic Church also believed in this model, which is why the theory of a heliocentric solar system was disregarded so quickly. The church believed in a geocentric solar system, in which the Earth did not move, and a heliocentric model did not work with the idea of the unmoving heavens fixed above the Earth. Anyone who did tried to tell people otherwise was convicted of heresy.

Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus is an astronomer who published his findings in a manuscript called, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, in 1543. Copernicus designed a heliocentric model of the universe. This means that the planets revolve around the sun, rather than the Earth. In his book, Copernicus used mathematical formulas to scientifically back up his theory. However, while his book was being published, a Lurtheran pastor named Andreas Osiander left a comment on the last page stating that the information inside was only a hypothesis and for the first fifty years, the information about a heliocentric solar system was ignored.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer who accomplished many things throughout his lifetime. During his time as a mathematics professor, he made many observations that greatly impacted the study of physics. Galileo also made advances on telescope, making it much stronger. Because he believed in Copernicus's heliocentric theory and wrote books including his ideals and beliefs, Galileo was twice convicted of heresy. He died in 1642, on January 8th.

Zacharias Janssen

In 1595, Zacharias Janssen invented the first compound microscope. This microscope could magnify images by up to ten times when fully extended. Although none of Jansen's compound microscopes survived, his invention helped lead to the invention of the telescope which greatly impacted what we know about our solar system.