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Timeline of solar system astronomy

   * 2136 BC - Chinese astronomers record a solar eclipse
   * 586 BC - Thales of Miletus predicts a solar eclipse
   * 350 BC - Aristotle argues for a spherical Earth using lunar eclipses
     and other observations
   * 280 BC - Aristarchus uses the size of the Earth's shadow on the Moon to
     estimate that the Moon's radius is one-third that of the Earth
   * 200 BC - Eratosthenes uses shadows to determine that the radius of the
     Earth is roughly 6,400 km
   * 150 BC - Hipparchus uses parallax to determine that the distance to the
     Moon is roughly 380,000 km
   * 134 BC - Hipparchus discovers the precession of the equinoxes
   * 1512 - Nicholas Copernicus first states his heliocentric theory in
     Commentariolus
   * 1543 - Nicholas Copernicus shows that his heliocentric theory
     simplifies planetary motion tables in De Revolutionibus de Orbium
     Coelestium
   * 1577 - Tycho Brahe uses parallax to prove that comets are distant
     entities and not atmospheric phenomena
   * 1609 - Johannes Kepler states his first two empirical laws of planetary
     motion
   * 1610 - Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io
   * 1610 - Galileo Galilei sees Saturn's planetary rings but does not
     recognize that they are rings
   * 1619 - Johannes Kepler states his third empirical law of planetary
     motion
   * 1655 - Giovanni Cassini discovers Jupiter's great red spot
   * 1656 - Christian Huygens identifies Saturn's rings as rings and
     discovers Titan and the Orion Nebula
   * 1665 - Giovanni Cassini determines the rotational speeds of Jupiter,
     Mars, and Venus
   * 1672 - Giovanni Cassini discovers Rhea
   * 1672 - Jean Richer and Giovanni Cassini measure the astronomical unit
     to be about 138,370,000 km
   * 1675 - Ole Rmer uses the orbital mechanics of Jupiter's moons to
     estimate that the speed of light is about 227,000 km/s
   * 1705 - Edmund Halley publicly predicts the periodicity of Halley's
     Comet and computes its expected path of return in 1758
   * 1715 - Edmund Halley calculates the shadow path of a solar eclipse
   * 1716 - Edmund Halley suggests a high-precision measurement of the
     Sun-Earth distance by timing the transit of Venus
   * 1758 - Johann Palitzsch observes the return of Halley's comet
   * 1766 - Johann Titius finds the Titius-Bode rule for planetary distances
   * 1772 - Johann Bode publicizes the Titius-Bode rule for planetary
     distances
   * 1781 - William Herschel discovers Uranus during a telescopic survey of
     the northern sky
   * 1796 - Pierre Laplace states his nebular hypothesis for the formation
     of the solar system from a spinning nebula of gas and dust
   * 1801 - Giuseppe Piazzi discovers the asteroid Ceres
   * 1802 - Heinrich Olbers discovers the asteroid Pallas
   * 1821 - Alexis Bouvard detects irregularities in the orbit of Uranus
   * 1825 - Pierre Laplace completes his study of gravitation, the stability
     of the solar system, tides, the precession of the equinoxes, the
     libration of the Moon, and Saturn's rings in Mecanique Celeste
   * 1843 - John Adams predicts the existence and location of Neptune from
     irregularities in the orbit of Uranus
   * 1846 - Urbain Le Verrier predicts the existence and location of Neptune
     from irregularities in the orbit of Uranus
   * 1846 - Johann Galle discovers Neptune
   * 1846 - William Lassell discovers Triton
   * 1849 - Edouard Roche finds the limiting radius of tidal destruction and
     tidal creation for a body held together only by its self gravity,
     called the Roche limit, and uses it to explain why Saturn's rings do
     not condense into a satellite
   * 1856 - James Clerk Maxwell demonstrates that a solid ring around Saturn
     would be torn apart by gravitational forces and argues that Saturn's
     rings consist of a multitude of tiny satellites
   * 1866 - Giovanni Schiaparelli realizes that meteor streams occur when
     the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet that has left debris
     along its path
   * 1906 - Max Wolf discovers the Trojan asteroid Achilles
   * 1930 - Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto
   * 1930 - Seth Nicholson measures the surface temperature of the Moon
   * 1950 - Jan Oort suggests the presence of a cometary Oort cloud
   * 1951 - Gerard Kuiper argues for an annular reservoir of comets between
     40-100 astronomical units from the Sun, the Kuiper belt
   * 1977 - James Elliot discovers the rings of Uranus during a stellar
     occultation experiment on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory
   * 1978 - James Christy discovers Charon
   * 1978 - Peter Goldreich and Scott Tremaine present a Boltzmann equation
     model of planetary-ring dynamics for indestructible spherical ring
     particles that do not self-gravitate and find a stability requirement
     relation between ring optical depth and particle normal restitution
     coefficient
   * 1988 - Martin Duncan, Thomas Quinn, and Scott Tremaine demonstrate that
     short-period comets come primarily from the Kuiper Belt and not the
     Oort cloud
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