Within the astronomical community, it has long been believed that Venus is the planet closest to Earth. Indeed, even the likes of NASA have supported this conviction. Yet three scientists recently decided to reconsider the matter. And their findings may surprise you – because they have upended the prevailing scientific consensus.
For some time now, it has been understood that planet Earth is a part of a complex of bodies that orbits the Sun: the Solar System. How the elements of the Solar System should be designated has been controversial from time to time over the years. Nevertheless, scientists have since reached a broad consensus. This states that the Solar System consists of eight planets, five dwarf planets and other smaller entities.
The invention of the telescope was pivotal to mankind’s initial understanding of the Solar System. During the 17th century, for instance, Galileo Galilei was able to determine specific features of certain entities within the system. For instance, he noted that sunspots etched the Sun and that craters define the Moon’s surface.