Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Geocentric and Heliocentric

Geocentric vs Heliocentric

Geocentric and heliocentric are terms used in relation to the solar system.

According to the dictionary, “geocentric” means “measured as from the center of the Earth.” The geocentric theory describes a geocentric system in which Earth is placed at the center of the solar system and other objects or planets are located around it. Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle propagated this theory which proposes that all objects or planets encircle the Earth, with the stars being located at the outermost sides, and the moon being at the innermost side. This theory is the oldest one developed centuries ago by Greek philosophers.

This theory is also called the “Ptolemaic system” in honor of the Greek scientist Claudius Ptolemy. Other scientists approving this theory include notables such as Pythagoras. This theory remained so popular for so long only because it explained why all things fall freely towards Earth, and also why all planets stay at certain distances from Earth. This theory was challenged by the development of a scientific instrument called the telescope by Galileo Galilee in the 16th century.

The geocentric theory was replaced by the heliocentric theory. According to this theory, the solar system has the Sun as the center of the solar system. The dictionary meaning of “heliocentric” is stated as “being seen from the center of the Sun”.
The idea of the heliocentric model existed from as early as 200-300 B.C. but was dominated by the geocentric theory. With the advancement of technology, more and more problems were faced which could not be explained with the geocentric theory of the solar system. In the 16th century, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus compiled the works of previous astronomers and proposed a theory that placed the Sun at center of the solar system and all planets, stars, and Earth encircling it. By the 1920’s, Edwin Hubble found that the sun was only part of millions of galaxies not the center of the solar system. In his model, he placed our planet Earth at the third place from the Sun. He imagined that it is the Earth that rotates around its axis, and the stars do not rotate around the Earth. It makes the stars appear to be moving in the sky.
This theory is very close to the present model of the solar system that we follow today.


1.Geocentric theory is described as the Earth being the center of the solar system while the heliocentric theory describes the Sun as being in the center.
2.Geocentric theory proposes that all objects including the moon, sun, stars orbit around the Earth while the heliocentric theory proposes that all other objects including the Earth, moon, and stars move around the Sun.
3.According to the geocentric theory, the stars rotate round the Earth while according to the heliocentric theory, the 4.Earth rotates around its axis which gives an impression of moving stars.
5.Geocentric theory states that the path of movement of the heavenly bodies is circular while the heliocentric theory states that the path of movement is elliptical.

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  1. Thanks I need more of heliocentric difference with geocentric please

  2. Pls give me all notifications regarding GEOGRAPHY of all Classes….

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