Within the astronomical community – and seemingly everywhere else in the world – it has long been believed that Venus is the planet closest to Earth. Even the likes of NASA have supported this conviction, in fact. Yet three scientists recently decided to reconsider the matter. And their findings may surprise you – because they have apparently upended the prevailing scientific consensus.
For some time now, of course, it has been understood that planet Earth is a part of a complex of bodies that orbits the Sun: the Solar System. Yet how the elements of the Solar System should be designated has been controversial from time to time over the years. Nevertheless, scientists have now reached a broad consensus. This states that the Solar System is made up of eight planets, five dwarf planets and other smaller entities.
It was actually the invention of the telescope that proved pivotal to mankind’s initial understanding of the Solar System. During the 17th century, for instance, Galileo Galilei was able to determine specific features of certain entities within the system using a telescope. He even noted that sunspots etch the Sun and that craters define the Moon’s surface.