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heliocentric system

a cosmological model in which the Sun is assumed to lie at or near a central point (e.g., of the solar system or of the universe) while the Earth and other bodies revolve around it. In the 5th century BC the Greek philosophers Philolaus and Hicetas speculated separately that the Earth was a sphere revolving daily around some mystical "central fire" that regulated the universe. Two centuries later, Aristarchus of Samos extended this idea by proposing that the Earth and other planets moved around a definite central object, which he believed to be the Sun.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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