Mathematics is one of the fundamental tools in analyzing and understanding astronomy. Astronomers use mathematics to do basic conversion, calculate brightness, density and temperature and improve the understanding of astronomical images.
Most ancient astronomers views celestial objects on behalf of gods. They studied celestial objects with the hope of discovering the unknown of the world. In ancient China, astronomer is an occupation that works for the imperial family. They determine the calendar and divine by astrology. Astronomers are responsible to explain the reason of natural disaster and the health condition of imperial family. The duties of ancient Chinese astronomers make it to be a mysterious job. It is so sacred that there is a law that if an astronomer was commit to a crime, the judge should penalize him in the lighter way than usual in Qing Dynasty. It is a very special job that astronomers could be very useful in power struggle because natural disaster could be explained as the emperor or officials did not perform his duties and they have to be punished or even die. However, in the Chinese history, there are some extraordinary astronomers who are curious about the secrets of the universe. They use science to explore the laws of universe and the relationship between movement of stars and climate change with the purpose of giving the instruction for people to farming and avoid natural disasters.
In this paper I would like to discuss how ancient Chinese Astronomers use advanced mathematical knowledge such as geometry and algebra to make great achievement in astronomical observation, astronomical instrument making and preparation of the calendar. Their achievement proved that astronomy and mathematics promoted each other.
Zu Chongzhi and his Daming Calendar and Nodal Month
Zu Chongzhi was a mathematician and astronomer. His achievement includes the establishing of Daming calendar, calculation of the number of overlaps...
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