A Short Story of Measuring the Distance of the Earth with the Sun

Surabaya (beritajatim.com) – Earth, where we all live and various other living creatures need sunlight to help all the necessities of life and the survival of mankind and other living creatures. The important role of the sun for the Earth and its contents was then used as a study by astronomers to determine the distance of the Earth from the Sun.

Based on data compiled by NASA, until now the distance between the Earth and the Sun is as far as 149.6 Million Kilometers or the equivalent of 92.9 Million Miles. This distance is the result of research that has been carried out by NASA as a space agency belonging to the United States. Using a variety of sophisticated equipment in the midst of technological advances and times.

But long before NASA conducted research into the distance between the Earth and the Sun, ancient Greek philosophers had made calculations that were used for centuries. In its history, the first philosopher to make measurements was Aristarchus in the range of the 250th century BC. Aristarchus based his measurements using the phases of the moon to measure the distance between the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.

Within half a month, these three celestial bodies (Earth, Sun, and Moon) must form a right angle. Aristarchus determined measurements were 19 times farther from Earth. Although it seems not entirely correct, Aristarchus has at least given a simple understanding of the size of the Earth and the Sun.

Continuing in 1653, an astronomer named Christiaan Huygens began to calculate the distance of the Earth to the sun. Huygens used the phases of Venus to find the angle in the triangle between Venus, Earth and the Sun. When Venus is half lit by the Sun, the three celestial bodies form a right triangle from Earth’s perspective.

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While Giovanni Cassini in 1672 used a method called ‘pralaks’, namely the difference in angles to determine the distance to the Sun. Measurements were made with his friend Jean Richer in French Guiana. Triangulation measurements are then taken between Earth, Mars, and the Sun. At that time they assumed the use of distance between Paris in France and French Guiana.

That’s a little short story of the measurement process that has been done by physicists and astronomers in the past. [adn/bjo]


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