Date of Award

Spring 2020

Presentation Date


Document Type

Senior Essay

First Advisor

Elizabeth Hamm

Second Advisor

Joseph Zepeda


Changing the center of the universe in the study of astronomy can have great consequences. Ptolemy believed that the heavens revolved around the earth, whereas Copernicus believed the planets orbited around the sun. This paper looks at both Ptolemaic geocentricity and Copernican heliocentricity and some of the elements, such as the calculation of the angle of solar eccentricity and the arrangement of the planets, that motivated this monumental change in the view of the center of the universe.