Throughout the history of modern astronomy the scientific method has played an important role in helping to guide scientist in correctly modeling a theory of how our solar system interacts in the whole cosmology of the universe. The history of scientific method and the history of astronomy seem to develop hand in hand. A development in astronomy seems to coincide with a refinement in the method of studying the sciences. The ancient Egyptians, using a form of the method in their surgical manuals, stated the basic forms of examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The ancient Greeks formalized at tradition of a scientific method that included some of the steps that we include today. However, it was during the renaissance period that we get a more defined version of a method. The philosopher/scientists Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Newton all played a part in defining this process and in turn used it to prove to the world that the model of the universe was not geocentric, but was in fact, heliocentric, the Earth revolved around the Sun.
The Heliocentric model of the solar system was put forth by an ancient astrologer Aristarchus of Samos in 200 BCE, however without any method to prove this theory, this model was overshadowed by the geocentric model of the Solar System and common sense.The method commonly accepted today, in its simplest form, includes the following four steps: The first step involves observing and describing a phenomenon or group of phenomena. The ability to observe what was happening up in the heavens in ancient times was limited at best. With out the aid of telescopes ancient man resorted to using mathematics to explain what the thought they saw in the sky. Claudius Ptolemy (85 -165 CE) used mathematics to portray a very complicated geocentric model trying to explain how the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets revolved around the Earth. This model of the universe was accepted by the Catholic Church and survived and prevailed for almost 1400 years due to the church’s heavy influence.