And yet it moves: The observability of the rotation of the earth

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A central point of controversy in the time of the Copernican Revolution was the motion, or not, of the earth. We now take it for granted that Copernicus and Galileo were right; the earth really does move. But to what extent is this conclusion based on observation? This paper explores the meaning and observability of the rotation of the earth and shows that the phenomenon was not observable at the time of Galileo, and it is not observable now.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalFoundations of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010



  • Evidence
  • Galileo
  • Mach
  • Observation
  • Relativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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