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May 9, 2017

Celestial Spheres

'Celestial Spheres'

The celestial spheres, or sometimes called celestial orbs, were the fundamental foundation of the cosmological models developed by Plato and many others many, many moons ago… At one time, it was believed that the fixed stars never changed their positions relative to each another…therefore, it was argued by many that they must be on the surface of a single starry sphere…in so-called modern thought, the orbits of the planets are seen as the paths that those planets take through mostly empty space...those ancient and medieval thinkers, however, considered the celestial orbs to be thick spheres of rarefied matter…matter that rested one within the other…each one of these orbs were thought to be in complete contact with the sphere above it and the sphere below it…C. S. Lewis said "Because the medieval universe is finite, it has a shape, the perfect spherical shape, containing within itself an ordered variety...."The spheres ... present us with an object in which the mind can nest, overwhelming in its greatness but satisfying in its harmony”… By combining this nested sphere model with their own somewhat primitive astronomical observations, the old scholars gradually calculated what became accepted estimates at the time for the distances to the Sun (about 4 million miles), to the other planets, and even to the edge of the universe, which they estimated to be close to 73 million miles…the nested sphere model's distances to the Sun and planets differ quite drastically from modern measurements of these distances, and the size of the universe is now thought to be inconceivably large and maybe even infinite.