Engraving showing Wright's theory of universe

Engraving showing Wright's theory of universe

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration from Thomas Wright's book An Original Theory of the Universe, published in 1750, depicting numerous galaxies, each with the Eye of Providence at its centre, filling an infinite universe. Wright (1711-86) made two important suggestions in his book. Firstly he proposed that the Sun is one of many stars orbiting around a Divine Centre, the stars being distributed either in concentric, spherical shells or in annuli, like the rings of Saturn. The latter description proved to be essentially correct. Secondly he proposed that the "cloudy spots" visible in the heavens were seperate star systems (other galaxies), a hypothesis not proved until the 1920's.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology of, galaxy, historical, history of science, milky way, thomas, wright, wright's theory of

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