Eudoxus of Cnidus: Difference between revisions

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[[Callippus]], a Greek astronomer of the 4th century, added seven spheres to Eudoxus's original 27 (in addition to the planetary spheres, Eudoxus included a sphere for the fixed stars). Aristotle described both systems, but insisted on adding "unrolling" spheres between each set of spheres to cancel the motions of the outer set. Aristotle was concerned about the physical nature of the system; without unrollers, the outer motions would be transferred to the inner planets.
A major flaw in the Eudoxan system is its inability to explain changes in the brightness of planets as seen from Earth. Because the spheres are concentric, planets will always remain at the same distance from Earth. This problem was pointed out in Antiquity by [[Autolycus of Pitane]]. Astronomers responded by introducing the [[deferent and epicycle]], which caused a planet to vary its distance. However, Eudoxus's importance to [[Greek astronomy]] is considerable, as he was the first to attempt a mathematical explanation of the planetplanets.
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