Cosmology Meaning

What is Cosmology:

Cosmology is the science that studies the composition, evolution and properties of the universe in order to understand its origin and evolution. This word derives from the Greek κόσμος, kosmo, which means "cosmos, order", and λογια, loguía, which indicates "study".

Cosmology has been the subject of study and observation since very remote times when the men of ancient civilizations sought answers to various issues that influenced their daily activities such as the movement of the moon, stars, eclipses, among others.

In astrophysics, cosmology, also called modern cosmology, studies the phenomena that the universe presents to identify through science the general laws that can explain the origin and evolution of the universe.

Evolution of cosmology

The term cosmology was used for the first time in the year 1731 in the scientific work of Christian Wolff, Cosmology generalis. However, the concept of cosmology has undergone an evolution throughout history due to scientific advances.

The first cosmological conceptions were presented in the form of narratives that tried to give an answer to the origin of the universe and humanity. Today, the concept of a people's cosmogony is used when explanations of the universe are associated with creation myths such as, for example, the Egyptian, Mayan and Andean cosmogony.

In this sense, it also refers to the interpretations of the origin of the universe with the concept of worldview.

Cosmology gets closer to the scientific character when it begins to be discussed in the philosophical sphere, especially the Greek one. One of the first modern cosmological models belongs to the philosopher Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC), with his geocentric model, that is, the Earth as the center of the universe, which was maintained for almost 2,000 years .

In the 17th century, the geocentric model is finally replaced by the heliocentric model, scientifically described by the German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Kepler defines in his cosmological model the movement of the planets in elliptical orbits around the sun with Kepler's three laws.

Since then, the human being has not stopped investigating and studying the universe and has had to involve other studies and theories, both scientific and humanistic, to complement and promote its bases and perspectives, including physics, astronomy, philosophy, religion. and astrology.

See also Universe.

Philosophical cosmology

Philosophical cosmology is one that tries to understand the universe from various philosophical, metaphysical and even theological aspects.

This branch of cosmology arose from the various views of the universe and its origin, which were raised by the Greek philosophers.

Philosophical cosmology takes models of the cosmos of the Babylonian and Egyptian peoples, along with philosophical insights, to describe general laws that govern the physical world.

In this sense, it is the philosopher Aristotle who describes the first important cosmological model, explaining the immobility of the Earth as the center of the Universe while the other stars (moon, sun, planets and stars) revolved around it.

Aristotle divides the universe into two worlds: the sublunar and the supralunar.

The sublunar world is the world of the Earth, whose limit is the moon. In this world, objects are born and die made up of four basic elements, being them earth (solid), water (liquid), air (gas) and fire (energy or plasma).

On the other hand, the supralunar world is made up of objects that have existed forever, with everything that revolves around the Earth being objects of perfect, circular and uniform movements. It was believed that these stars were made of ether (the quintessence) which gave them the ability to shine.

See also Pre-Socratic Philosophy.

Physical cosmology

Through physical cosmology, specialists are in charge of studying, observing and understanding what the physical and chemical properties of the universe are and what they are composed of, its structures, how it originated, what is its density, how the galaxies are distributed, of what are they composed, how will they continue to evolve and what is their possible destiny.

The importance of physical cosmology lies in the possibility of establishing theories and building models that scientifically describe the properties of the universe through mathematical description and physical compression.

Physical cosmology dates back to the 20th century, when Albert Einstein developed the General theory of relativity.

After this study, important scientific advances emerged that allowed improving the astronomical observation of distant objects, as well as rethinking the research and study about the origin of the universe, the Big Bang Theory or expansion of matter, and establish cosmological models.

See also:

  • Star.
  • Branches of physics.

Mayan cosmology

The Maya were one of the Mesoamerican peoples who observed, studied, and made exact calculations of the movements of the Moon, the Sun, and the stars.

In turn, they conceived the idea that the cosmos was divided into three levels. The upper level was composed of the celestial vault and was the place where the main astronomical phenomena took place.

At the intermediate level were men and their daily activities. On the lower level was the underworld or Xilbalbá, a place that was considered dark.

See also Mayan culture.

Andean cosmology

Andean cosmology separates the universe into three worlds: the world above called Hanan Pacha, the world here, called Kay Pacha, and the world below called Ukhu Pacha.

In this context, there is a superior spirit that controls and governs the three pachas called Viracocha or Wiaqocha Tayta.

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