The Science of Astronomy

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  • Topic: Moon, Maya calendar, Sun
  • Pages : 39 (3225 words )
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  • Published : March 19, 2013
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The Science of
Astronomy
The Ancient Root of Astronomy
The Greek Astronomy
Copernican Revolution

Introduction
• Astronomy is the study of the
universe and its contents.
• It is founded upon the desire to
understand and predict the world
we live in and our place in it.
• It is the oldest of the sciences.
History of Astronomy

2

Introduction
• While the techniques used to study
the cosmos have evolved from the
naked eye observations of the first
stargazers to high-tech space-andearth-based equipment of today, the primary goal of astronomy has
remained unchanged:

3

“to understand our
universe, where it
came from, and
where it is going”.
4

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• Study of astronomy originally
motivated by the needs of the
daily life, which were quite
different several 1000 years ago

5

Pre-Historic Astronomy
–religious reasons, worship of
gods and goddesses
–accurate calendars
–Calendars are necessary for
successful agriculture
–Common measures of time are
astronomical in origin

6

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• Day, month and year are of
astronomical origin
– Day – rotation of the Earth
– Month – revolution of the moon
– Year – revolution of the Earth
History of Astronomy

7

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• Seasonal variations have to be
recognized and have to be
predictable.

8

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• Seasonal variations in
temperature are caused by two
factors:
– Amount of time Sun spends
above horizon
– Maximum elevation of Sun in
sky

9

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• The week is also tied to
astronomy
– Weeks are an invention of the
Babylonians
– Loosely based in quarter of
lunar cycle
10

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• The week is also tied to
astronomy
– Number of days in a week
equals number of “planets”
(non-stationary celestial
objects)
11

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• The week is also tied to
astronomy
– Also called the wanderers, the
seven objects in the sky move
relative to the stars (fixed)

History of Astronomy

12

Pre-Historic Astronomy
• The week is also tied to
astronomy
– The wanderers are: Sun, Moon,
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn
– English names for the days of
the week are based on these
13

The Days of the Week
Object

Sun

Teutonic God

Sun

English Name

Sunday

Spanish Name

Domingo
14

The Days of the Week
Object

Moon

Teutonic God

Moon

English Name

Monday

Spanish Name

Lunes
15

The Days of the Week
Object

Mars

Teutonic God

Tiw

English Name

Tuesday

Spanish Name

Martes
16

The Days of the Week
Object

Mercury

Teutonic God

Woden

English Name

Wednesday

Spanish Name

Miercoles
17

The Days of the Week
Object

Jupiter

Teutonic God

Thor

English Name

Thursday

Spanish Name

Huebes
18

The Days of the Week
Object

Venus

Teutonic God

Frigg

English Name

Friday

Spanish Name

Viernes
19

The Days of the Week
Object

Saturn

Teutonic God

Saturn

English Name

Saturday

Spanish Name

Sabado
20

Does it make sense?
• If the planet Uranus had been
identified as a planet in ancient
times, we’d probably have
eight days in a week.

History of Astronomy

21

Early Astronomy
• 1847 – discovery of the oldest
library close to the town
Niniveh (Iraq, former capital of
Assyria)

History of Astronomy

22

Early Astronomy
– Known as “The
Royal Library of
Ashurbanipal”,
named after the
last great king of
the Neo-Assyrian
Empire.
23

Early Astronomy
–It is rich in a
collection of
thousands of clay
tablets and
fragments
containing texts of
all kinds.
24

Early Astronomy
–25,000 clay tablets
dating back to the 7th
Century BC and about
7,000 tablets containing
astronomical
information dating back
to 2,000 BC
25

Early Astronomy
• Babylonians made first
systematic study of sky,
strongly motivated...
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