Q:

Who discovered that the Earth was round?

A:

Quick Answer

The discovery that the Earth is round is most commonly ascribed to the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, while the credit for proving it is usually given to Aristotle. It appears that most ancient Greek philosophers that followed him believed in a round Earth. Since the records from that time are not perfect, it is quite possible that someone before him was aware of the Earth's round shape.

Know More
Who discovered that the Earth was round?
Credit: MamiGibbs Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

Aristotle demonstrated the Earth was round by drawing on a variety of evidence: the curvature of the horizon, the way constellations appear in the sky and the way a ship disappears over the horizon, for example. Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus did not discover that the Earth was round, and no debate over the Earth's shape occurred in preparation for his voyage; rather, the circumference of the Earth was what was at issue.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    In what year was Jupiter discovered?

    A:

    There is no known date for the discovery of Jupiter nor any known person who discovered the planet. Jupiter is one of the five planets visible to the naked eye from Earth. Because of its visibility, Jupiter has been studied since ancient times.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who Discovered Planet Mars?

    A:

    No single individual is credited with the discovery of Mars, as knowledge of its existence goes back to ancient times. Knowledge of Mars dates back to at least the Ancient Romans, who gave it its present name, and the Ancient Egyptians, who named it "the Red One."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who discovered Mars?

    A:

    Because Mars with its famous red coloration is readily visible from Earth, it is unknown who first discovered it; NASA lists the planet as "known by the ancients." There are records of its existence as far back as ancient Egypt.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How far away is Earth from the sun?

    A:

    The Earth is 1 astronomical unit, which is approximately 150 million kilometers, or 93 million miles, from the sun, according to the Astronomical Union. The AU is used to describe distances that are much smaller than a light-year.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore