The Greek mathematician Menaechmus (c. 380–c. 320 BCE) is generally credited with discovering the shapes formed by the intersection of a plane and a right circular cone. Depending on how he tilted the plane when it intersected the cone, he formed different shapes at the intersection–beautiful shapes with near-perfect symmetry. It was also said that Aristotle may have had an intuitive understanding of these shapes, as he observed the orbit of the planet to be circular. He presumed that the planets moved in circular orbits around Earth, and for nearly $$2000$$ years this was the commonly held belief.