Secrets of the Deep Sky

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The Amateur Astronomer

Astronomy-Popular works 2. Astronomy-Observers' The publisher makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of the information contained in this book and cannot accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may be made. Observing the Sun, along with a few other aspects of astronomy, can be dangerous. Neither the publisher nor the author accept any legal responsibility or liability for personal loss or injury caused, or alleged to have been caused, by any information or recommendation contained in this book.

Astronomy A Physical Perspective

This fully revised and updated text is a comprehensive introduction to astronomical objects and phenomena. By applying some basic physical principles to a variety of situations, students will learn how to relate everyday physics to the astronomical world. Starting with the simplest objects, the text contains thorough explanations of how and why astronomical phenomena occur, and how astronomers collect and interpret information about stars, galaxies and the Solar System. The text looks at the properties of stars, star formation and evolution neutron stars and black holes the nature of galaxies and the structure of the universe. It examines the past, present and future states of the universe and final chapters use the concepts that have been developed to study the Solar System and its formation the possibility of finding other planetary systems and the search for extraterrestrial life. This comprehensive text contains useful equations, chapter summaries, worked examples and...

Dictionary of Quotations on Astronomy and Physics

A Dictionary of Quotations on Astronomy and Physics Together they selected and arranged quotations for the books Statistically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations (Institute of Physics Publishing, 1996), Physically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations on Physics and Astronomy (Institute of Physics Publishing, 1997), Mathematically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations (Institute of Physics Publishing, 1998), Practically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations on Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (Institute of Physics Publishing, 1998), Medically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations on Dentistry, Medicine and Nursing (Institute of Physics Publishing, 1999), Scientifically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations (Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000), Naturally Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations on Biology, Botany, Nature, and Zoology (Institute of Physics Publishing, 2001) and Chemically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations (Institute of Physics Publishing, 2002).

Extreme Ultraviolet Astronomy

The study of the universe in Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths is a relatively new branch of astronomy. Lying between the X-ray and UV bands, Extreme Ultraviolet has proved to be a valuable wavelength for the study of specific groups of astronomical objects, including white dwarf stars and stellar coronae, as well as the interstellar medium. This text describes the development of astronomy in the EUV wavelength range, from the first rocket-based experiments in the late 1960s through to the latest satellite missions. Discussions of the results from the most important space projects are followed by an analysis of the contributions made by EUV astronomy to the study of specific groups of astronomical objects. Within this framework, the book provides detailed material on the tools of EUV astronomy, dealing with the instrumentation, observational techniques and modelling tools for the interpretation of data. Prospects for future EUV missions are discussed and a catalogue of known EUV...

Cambridge Illustrated Dictionary Of Astronomy

This lavishly illustrated new dictionary written by an experienced writer and consultant on astronomy provides an essential guide to the universe for amateur astronomers of all ages. It can be used both as a comprehensive reference work, and as a fascinating compendium of facts to dip into. Around 1300 carefully selected and cross-referenced entries are complemented by hundreds of beautiful color illustrations, taken from space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other major observatories on Earth and in space. Distinguished stellar illustrator Wil Tirion has drawn 20 new star maps especially for inclusion here. A myriad of named astronomical objects, constellations, observatories and space missions are described in detail, as well as biographical sketches for 70 of the most luminous individuals in the history of astronomy and space science. Acronyms and specialist terms are clearly explained, making for the most thorough and carefully assembled reference resource that teachers...

The modern astronomers guide

Written by an experienced and well-known lunar observer, this is a 'hands-on' primer for the aspiring observer of the Moon. Whether you are a novice or are already experienced in practical astronomy you will find plenty in this book to help you 'raise your game' to the next level and beyond. The author provides extensive practical advice and sophisticated background knowledge of the Moon and of lunar observation. The selection construction of equipment and optimizing of existing equipment for such projects as drawing, photographing and CCD imaging of the Moon are covered, together with analysis and computer processing of images, and much, much, more. gerald north graduated in physics and astronomy. A former teacher and college lecturer, he is now a freelance astronomer and author. A long-term member of the British Astronomical Association, he has served in several posts in their Lunar Section. His books include the acclaimed Advanced Amateur Astronomy, which has become a classic guide...

The beginnings of astronomy

Astronomy has been called the oldest of the sciences, and rightly so. since the dawn of civilization, humans have struggled to make sense of the complex motions of celestial objects, and countless ancient monuments and artifacts reflect their fascination. stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Egypt, both dating from around 2500 bc, embody astronomically significant alignments based on knowledge of the skies, but the true birthplace of astronomy was in the Middle East. Babylonians is clear evidence of a long-standing tradition of celestial observation. some constellations, such as Leo and scorpius, have come down to us virtually unchanged. The Babylonians made another lasting contribution to astronomy having measured the length of the year as approximately 360 days, they divided the circle of the sky into 360 degrees, subdivided each degree into 60 parts, and introduced the 24-hour day, with each hour also divided into 60 parts. Knowledge of Babylonian astronomy spread to Greece...

Astronomy Through the Ages

The science of astronomy was born out of this curiosity. And it can well claim to be the oldest of sciences. For, right from the earliest times, man has puzzled over these questions and tried to work out logical answers to them. But those with a scientific bent of mind tried to understand why planets move in this way. The answer was not easy or quick. About two thousand years ago the Greek astronomers, Hipparchus and Ptolemy, demonstrated that there is a pattern in the movement of planets. This pattern, however, appeared complicated because the Greeks had a stubborn belief that the Earth is fixed in space and that everything goes round it. In the sixteenth century Nicolaus Copernicus showed that the pattern of this planetary movement looked much simpler if planets (including our Earth) are assumed Earlier, in the fifth century, the Indian astronomer, Aryabhata had stated that the Earth is not fixed, but revolves around a north-south axis and this was why stars appeared to rise and...

Perpectives of Ancient Astronomy

We deal in this book with the broad and burgeoning subject of pretelescopic astronomy. People around the world have been deeply interested in the sun, moon, and stars for millennia. Of central interest to historians are answers to the questions, What did they know and when did they know it In this section, we discuss why we want to know the answers to these questions, and the means by which scholars have attempted to provide the answers. As a discipline, archaeoastronomy stems from the publication of J.N. Lockyer's Dawn of Astronomy in 1894. Working with little regard to the findings of archaeology, Lockyer attempted to date structures by purely astronomical criteria. With this approach, he at once illumined a fresh path for scientific exploration and incited such criticism that few dared to venture on that path again for more than half a century. The renaissance of the subject is more than a little due to the publication in 1968 of Stonehenge Decoded by Gerald Hawkins. This helped to...

Welcome to amateur astronomy

Welcome to amateur astronomy If you are new to this field, and especially if you have never owned a telescope before, this chapter is for you. Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead. I've tried to write a book that I'll actually use while observing. Parts of it are quite specialized take what suits you and save the rest for later. Amateur astronomy, like other hobbies, is something you can go for a little or a lot. Computerized telescopes make casual stargazing easier than ever before, since you don't have to gather up star maps and look up planet positions before going out under the sky. At the other end of the spectrum, the advanced amateur with a busy, semi-professional observing program will find that a computerized telescope is a real time-saver. Both approaches to amateur astronomy are respectable, and so is everything in between. The key to enjoyment is to have realistic expectations and continue building your knowledge and skill. Looking through a telescope is a very different...

Fundamental Measurements in Astronomy

An astronomer needs to find his or her way around the night sky. The first step is learning about two coordinate systems. In astronomy, brightness is measured by magnitude. Originally, all naked-eye stars were categorized in six classes of brightness, from 1st magnitude (brightest) to 6th magnitude (faintest). In modern times, the scale has been extended to zero and to negative magnitudes for very bright objects (remember, the lower the magnitude, the brighter the object). It has also been extended to numbers higher than 6 for objects so faint they require optical aid to see. Decimals are used between two magnitudes a star midway in brightness between 1.0 and 2.0 is 1.5. A difference of one magnitude means one object is about 2.512 times brighter than the other. This is because it was considered useful to set a difference of five magnitudes as equal to 100 times 2.512 (actually 2.512 . . .) multiplied by itself 5 times is 100.

Instrumentation in astronomy

As in the case of all of the sciences, instrumentation has been developed in astronomy so that the data provided by the observations are no longer subjective. Again, as in other sciences, the application of instrumentation immediately revealed that the scope for measurement is also extended. For example, when Galileo employed the telescope for astronomical observation, a new range of planetary phenomena was discovered and the number of observable stars was greatly increased. Since Galileo's time, the whole range of observable phenomena has continued to grow with the application of each new type of observing equipment. The instrumentation which was first applied to astronomy was designed so that the actual measurement of record was made by eye. When photographic material became available, the range of possible observation was immediately increased. This has now been further extended by the introduction of solid state devices in the form of CCDs (charge coupled devices). Whereas the eye...

Why Do Amateur Astronomers Observe Variable Stars

As with all amateur astronomers, you want to start seeing some results for your efforts as quickly as possible. You may have just spent a considerable amount of money for your new equipment and you want to start observing interesting things right now. Or you may have a pair of binoculars and wonder if there is anything happening up there, in the sky at night worthy of your attention. If you don't know where to look, the Universe can quickly seem like a rather boring place. Ironically, many would-be amateur astronomers give up very quickly because they cannot find anything interesting to view in a sky full of stars. A couple of nights under a star filled sky that doesn't seem to be doing anything and you'll believe that it's time to find a new hobby. This is where variable stars come to your rescue. As an amateur astronomer observing variable stars you will see immediate results from your labor. Cataclysmic variable stars explode within a few short hours, binary stars can eclipse one...

Uranus and The Kings Astronomer

This honor brought with it a salary sufficient to allow ntr Herschel to give up his musical duties and spend full-time on astronomy. In gratitude, he named the new planet Georgium Sidus after his patron, but this did not find approval among other astronomers. Uranus was finally chosen instead, in keeping with the naming of the other five planets after gods of ancient mythology.

Observational Astronomy 111 Historical development

The Greek astronomer Hipparchus (c. 127 bc) used astronomical observations to determine the lengths of the four seasons and the duration of the year to within 6.5 minutes. He also derived the distance to the Moon and the Sun, but his most amazing feat was to notice a small westward drift of the constellations which we now call the precession of the equinoxes. This effect causes the current Pole Star (Polaris) to move away from the North point and circle back after almost 26,000 years Chinese astronomers recorded the appearance and fading of an exceptionally bright star in 1054 ad in the constellation we now call Taurus, but it was not until the 20th century that Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) associated this event with the supernova explosion which gave rise to the Crab Nebula, also known as Messier 1, the first entry in the list of nebulous objects studied by Charles Messier (1730-1817). Following the invention of the telescope in the early 1600s, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and others...

So What Is Radio Astronomy

Radio astronomy involves the study of radio waves from the depths of space. Many objects in the universe, including stars, galaxies, and nebulae, as well as a wide variety of peculiar, fascinating, and often mysterious objects, emit radio waves through naturally occurring processes. For hundreds of years, ever since Galileo, in 1609 AD, first used an optical telescope to study the moon, stars, and planets, astronomers have used glass lenses or a mirror to gather and concentrate light from distant stars and galaxies. The light is then passed through more lenses to bring it to focus on a photographic plate or on an electronic detector in the best of modern telescopes. A radio telescope is similar to an optical telescope, but it reflects radio waves oft a metal surface instead of a glass mirror. The larger the reflecting surface the greater the amount of energy gathered and the fainter the radio signals that can be sensed. For decades the 250-ft diameter Lovell telescope at the Nuffield...

Development of a New Astronomy

The second major topic of the chapter is the transformation of astronomy from teaching and measuring to studying the physical nature of objects in space. The transformation was fueled by an explosion of data collected in sky surveys in the previous decade. As more spectra were taken with new telescopes and improved photographic techniques, differences among stars emerged. There were no professional female astronomers during this time period, but several women made major contributions to the new science. To organize the hundreds of spectra coming into Harvard, computer Williamina Fleming (1857-1911) invented a class system that divides the spectra by temperature, a system still in use today. Her system facilitated the discovery of the correlation between stellar temperature and brightness that is a building block of stellar evolution and the major topic of the next decade. Another Harvard computer, Henrietta Leavitt (1868-1921), noticed that a certain type of variable star's brightness...

Early development of astronomy First astronomers

The periodic motions of the sun and moon were noted and described with calendars as early as the thirteenth century BCE in China. Surviving physical structures appear to be related to the motions of celestial bodies. Notable are an eighth century BCE sundial in Egypt and the assemblage of large stones at Stonehenge in England dating from about 2000 BCE (Fig. 1)1. The Babylonians and Assyrians in the Middle East are known to have been active astronomers in the several centuries BCE (The designations BCE before common era and CE common era are equivalent to BC and AD respectively.) Astronomy flourished under Greek culture ( 600 BCE to 400 CE) with important contributions by Aristotle, Aristarchus of Samos, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and others. The Greek astronomers deduced important characteristics of the solar system. For example, Aristotle (384-322 BCE) argued from observations that the earth is spherical, and Aristarchus (310-230 BCE) made measurements to obtain the sizes and distances of...

Brief History Of Astronomy

Astronomy, which literally means the study of the stars, involves the study of the universe and every type of object that exists in the universe, including our own planet. Astronomers study the universe by investigating the origins, evolution, composition, motions, relative positions, and sizes of celestial bodies. Unlike astrology, which alleges that the positions of the Sun, Moon, and stars affect human affairs, astronomy is a scientific discipline based upon an understanding of physical principles (the so-called Laws of Nature) and how their operation produces phenomena that may be observed. These principles can often be summarized in simple mathematical equations. Learning some of the simpler and more fundamental principles allows you both insight into how astronomers learn about the universe as well as an understanding of why the objects we observe have the properties that they do. The number of physical factors that astronomers can measure is small. These factors include masses,...

Lies Damned Lies and Astronomy

Shall we set down astronomy among the subjects of study Statistics in Astronomy Astronomy is about using observational data to test hypotheses about the nature and behaviour of very distant objects, such as stars and galaxies. That immediately sets it apart from experimental disciplines. It is simply impossible to make stars and do experiments with them, even if one could get funding to do it. Nature provides us with a laboratory of a sort, but it also decides what goes on there. We just have to hope that we can observe something that provides us with a way of testing whether our ideas are right. Fortunately, the laboratory we have is enormous and it has a lot going on within it. We observe, measure, catalogue and model (but not necessarily in that order). Eventually patterns emerge, as do rare but decisive exceptions. Models are gradually refined to account for the observations and, hopefully, we end up with some measure of understanding. long they live. We even have a good idea of...

Photon and nonphoton astronomy

The refraction of light in a prism is usually described in terms of waves, while the ejection of electrons from an illuminated surface (photoelectric effect) may be understood in terms of momentum transfers from individual photons.The detection of radio sources with high angular resolution by means of a technique called inter-ferometry arises from the interference of waves detected with two or more separate telescopes. In gamma-ray astronomy, individual photons are detected one-by-one with scintillation crystals that emit a detectable pulse of light when a single gamma ray interacts with the atoms of the crystal. Astronomers usually refer to radio and optical radiation in terms of waves, characterizing them with a wavelength X or a frequency v, while they refer to x rays and gamma rays as photons, characterizing them with an energy E. The terminologies are completely interchangeable presented below are the relations between frequency of a wave and the energy of a photon. Photons are...

Galileo Galilei and Telescopic Astronomy

As the first astronomer to use a telescope to view the heavens, the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) conducted early astronomical observations that helped inflame the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. In 1610 he announced some of his early telescopic findings in the publication Starry Messenger, including the discovery of the four major moons of Jupiter (now called the Galilean satellites). The fact that they behaved like A 1640 portrait of Galileo Galilei the fiery Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician who used his own version of the newly invented telescope to make detailed astronomical observations that helped inflame the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century. (NASA) A 1640 portrait of Galileo Galilei the fiery Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician who used his own version of the newly invented telescope to make detailed astronomical observations that helped inflame the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century. (NASA) Galileo Galilei...

Frontiers Of Astronomy

The science of astronomy continues to find new fields of inquiry even today With the latest generation of telescopes, entire new classes of objects are available for study. As hundreds of new planets are discovered outside the solar system, the search for life elsewhere in the universe, and especially intelligent life, has intensified. A whole new science astrobiology studies the conditions under which life might survive among the stars. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program is constantly listening for telltale signals of alien civilizations. Powerful telescopes that allow us to look closer and closer to the Big Bang are also revealing the secrets of galaxy formation, and are on the verge of showing us the first generation of stars. In these and other ways, modern astronomy is bringing us ever closer to our origins.

High energy astronomy

X-ray astronomy is one of the youngest fields in observational astronomy. Since X-rays do not penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, the history of X-ray astronomy is the history of high altitude (balloon) and space astronomy. Early X-ray observations were done with sounding rockets (which provided very brief flights with only a few minutes of data taking) and high altitude balloons. Of course, the balloons still do not rise above all the atmosphere, and, in the X-ray part of the spectrum, even the little bit that is left matters. X-ray satellites are able to provide both continuous and spectral line observations. Originally, the spectral information came from detectors similar to those used by high energy physicists, called proportional counters, which register the energy of the photons as they hit. Better spectral resolution was obtained by using a type of grating called a Bragg crystal, in which the 'slits' are the individual atoms in a solid. More recently, X-ray astronomers have been...

The Science Of Astronomy

The science of the universe, like any other natural science, is an organized study of natural phenomena. Consequently, in order to study the concepts of astronomy, one must first be familiar with some basic scientific principles. Astronomers use a variety of methods to quantify the natural phenomena that they measure. Because the physical factors that are measured in astronomy are sometimes quite large or small, astronomers use scientific notation, or exponential numbers, to express these measurements. A number written in scientific notation is a number between 1 and 10 and multiplied by a power of 10 (see Table 2-1).

The First Professional Astronomers

In 1863 the first 'official' observatory was established by the Wellington provincial government. Archdeacon Arthur Stock (1823-1901) was put in charge and, equipped with clocks and a transit telescope, he was able to provide a time service and he operated a time ball from the custom house on Queen's wharf. By 1868 this became the Colonial Time-service Observatory with Sir James Hector, a noted New Zealand geologist, as director and Stock as observer. He was New Zealand's first resident professional astronomer (see Hayes 1987 and Orchiston 1998). Professional astronomers were not numerous in early New Zealand, but two other individuals of note deserve mention. Alexander William Bicker-ton (1842-1929) was foundation professor of chemistry and physics at the Canterbury University College from 1874 until he was fired by the college council in 1902, ostensibly for poor management. Bickerton was a brilliant but unorthodox lecturer, whose star pupil was Ernest Rutherford. But he had a...

Lunar Eclipse Shifts His Educational Goal toward Astronomy

When Tycho was seven years old, he began his schooling at a clerical school near Vordingborg, where he received his elementary education and learned the Latin language, both spoken and written. In 1559, at age 13, Tycho began classical studies at the University of Copenhagen, and, although he focused on law, the university offered education in astronomy and the mathematics that accompany its study. This is where Brahe became deeply involved in the subject. It was within the first year at Copenhagen that he discovered through one of his professors a basic pre-Copernican astronomy book by English mathematician and astronomer Johannes de Sacrobosco (d. ca. 1256) titled De sphaera (On the spheres, ca. 1230). Then, on August 21, 1560, Brahe experienced a life-altering event by witnessing a partial eclipse of the Sun. It was not the phenomenon of the eclipse itself, however, that fascinated him. It was the fact that its occurrence had been predicted beforehand. To Brahe, this was amazing...

Brown Archaeoastronomy

This term denotes an approach in archaeoastronomy that is not primarily focused upon alignment studies but is concerned with a much broader range of types of evidence, such as written documents or ethnohistorical accounts. This approach emerged in North America during the 1970s, particularly in the context of studies of astronomy in native North America and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It involved attempts to integrate approaches from a range of humanities and social science disciplines such as history, cultural anthropology, art history, ethnography, folklore studies, history of religions, and many more. This broad, multidisciplinary approach contrasted starkly with the pursuit of statistical rigor that absorbed most Old World archaeoastronomers at the time.

The future of New Zealand Astronomy

Astronomy world-wide has undergone a fundamental revolution over the last hundred years. In most of the 19th century and before, astronomy was first of all, an aid to maritime navigation and a means of accurate mapping of localities on the Earth. To this end, time-keeping and astrometry were two of the principal tasks undertaken by astronomers. Starting in the 1860s, changes in the way astronomers in Europe practised their science began to take place. For the first time they began to ask fundamental questions about the physical nature and properties of the stars. At first physics was hardly advanced enough to provide many answers. But physics also underwent a revolution, and by the early twentieth century astronomers began applying physics to interpret their observations. This revolution was only really successful from the 1920s, when a real understanding of stellar spectra using physics became possible, based on atomic theory and the concept of ionization. The development of New...

What Radio Astronomers

Insomnia is a valuable affliction for optical astronomers, who need to make good use of the hours of darkness when the sun is on the other side of the earth. But as Karl Jansky discovered so many years ago, the sun is not a particularly bright radio source. In consequence, radio astronomers (and radio telescopes) can work night and day. The VLA, for example, gathers data (or runs tests) 24 hours a day, 363 days a year. Not only is darkness not required, but you can even make radio observations through a cloud-filled sky. The senior author of this book even observed a distant star-forming region in the midst of a storm during which lightning struck near the VLA and disabled it for a few minutes. As the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort realized after reading Reber's work in the 1940s, radio waves opened new vistas into the Milky Way and beyond. Radio astronomers can observe objects whose visible light doesn't reach the earth because of obscuration by interstellar dust or simply because they...

Observing Project 4B Joining an Astronomy Club

Picking a good club provides several very important benefits to you as an amateur astronomer. To list just a few, first among them would be the companionship of those who enjoy our hobby and science as you do. Among those people you will find some surprising talents. In my own club, I have already benefited from the friendship of one amateur who is an electrician who helped repair my telescope when its internal inverter failed. He got me back up and running with a few passes of his soldering iron. Another helped locate us a reasonable dark sky observing site with clear horizons and dry ground to observe from. Others have lent their time to teach others and us about the areas of astronomy they are most passionate about. Others have allowed us to share in their innovations, their large telescopes and their hot beverage supplies. Most important to remember is one simple fact that can make the club experience a joy or a frustration. Astronomy clubs come in two distinct types, those that...

Astronomy in Cultures

In Chapters 6 to 14, we discuss the cultural contexts in which premodern astronomy was practiced. We begin each chapter with brief descriptions of the region and of the history, activities, and practices of the people or peoples dwelling there. Three broad sources can be recommended to place the cultures and their monuments in a fuller context of world archeology than we can attempt here. The Times Atlas of Archeology (Past Worlds by Hammond Inc., 1988) provides summary maps and cultural descriptions for archeological remains from the earliest period to the present. A more technical atlas by Whitehouse and Whitehouse (1975) locates the major sites throughout the world, and Jacquetta

Not Astronomy but Astrometry

The first technique, called astrometry, requires many images of a star and its nearby companions. These images are examined for minute changes in the star's position. If a particularly large planet orbits a star, it is possible to measure the wobble in the position of the star. For example, if some slimy alien astronomer were looking at the Sun, he, she, or it would see the Sun wobble back and forth every 11 or 12 years. Our alien friend would be watching the Sun's response to the orbit of Jupiter. All of the other planets would cause wobbles as well, but the wobble from Jupiter would be the dominant one.

The Questions That Astronomy Asks

As a discipline, astronomy does not impact society in the obvious ways that chemistry (pharmaceuticals), biology (ethics of genetic engineering), or computer science (the Internet) do. Yet astronomy is one of humanity's oldest scientific disciplines. Some of the earliestwrit-ten records are the writings of Babylonian astronomer-priests recording the motions of the planets with respect to the background stars. These early efforts were made by societies that did not have large amounts of leisure time, so clearly there must have been some social usefulness to such astronomical observations. In what ways was astronomy useful to society in those ancient times, say, in Babylon, circa 1000 b.c.e. One obvious answer is that the heavens were remarkably good keepers of time, and they reflected the seasonal cycles that were of the utmost importance to agricultural societies. Much as the U.S. Naval Observatory keeps the official time for the nation today, synchronizing the Internet, business...

At Age 57 Banneker Tackles Astronomy

By 1788, Banneker's scientific interest bent toward astronomy in such a way that George could not keep the man satisfied. The subject fascinated Banneker more than anything else in his life. It was not long before George arrived at Banneker's farm with books and instruments, including a pedestal telescope, a sturdy table on which to rest it, and a set of drafting instruments for making astronomical observations. One of the first books Banneker read was James Ferguson's An Easy Introduction to Astronomy for Young Gentlemen and Ladies (1768). He also studied a more detailed and complex book called Mayer's Lunar Tables (1753) by the German cartographer and astronomer Johann Tobias Mayer, another self-taught mathematician. Also among his new and modest library was Charles Leadbetter's A Complete System of Astronomy (1742), the most comprehensive and advanced book of his collection. Due to George's busy schedule, he did not have time to instruct Banneker. Once again, Banneker was forced to...

From Farmer to Astronomer

After tending his crops for the day, Banneker would eagerly turn to his astronomy. He soon began to keep a manuscript journal of his calculations on the projection of eclipses and other astronomical predictions. He always shared his work with George, seeking approval on his projections from the man he considered his vast superior in the subject. Banneker's aptitude for astronomy never failed to impress George, stimulating Banneker's confidence in his own abilities as an astronomer. He began to consider preparing his own ephemeris, which led to the idea that he might even be able to compile his own almanac. He dared not to think about whether the finished product could be publishable material, but he set that doubt in the back of his mind, and in early 1790, he began to construct his tables.

The Secret Of Astronomy

This allegorical engraving shows Astronomy, with her star-covered robe, globe, telescope, and quadrant, next to a female figure who might represent Mathematics. The small angel between them holds a banner proclaiming pondere et mensura to weigh and measure which is the secret of the art of astronomy.

Observing Project 6E Solar Astronomy for a Rainy

So you think the clouds got the best of your plans to view that huge new sunspot group Fear not for SOHO is on the job. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory has been one of the most productive space astronomy missions ever launched. There are two images taken by SOHO's Large Angle and Spectrometric Coron-agraph (LASCO). The images taken by the wide-angle C3 imager are the ones that have produced the most unexpected scientific rewards when it began picking up Sun grazing comets Astonished astronomers have just found as of this writing their 1,000th comet using SOHO. SOHO also uses a narrow-angle instrument called the C2, which images the inner solar corona out to about five million miles of the Sun's surface. objects in the solar system. Because they always hide low in the twilight murk, the seeing through a telescope is always poor, leaving the tiny disks of the planets swarming in the turbulent atmosphere close to the horizon. Yet with work and patience, Venus and Mercury slowly...

The Costs Of Astronomy

Despite the large amounts of money that some amateurs spend on their hobby, it costs almost nothing for most people who live under dark skies to go outside and enjoy the view. For the professional astronomer, however, costs can be quite significant. While the cost of astronomy is tiny in comparison, for example, to the U.S. military budget, the federal government does spend a significant amount of money on astronomy and astronomical research, and it is reasonable for citizens to wonder whether the investment is worthwhile to society. First, exactly how much is spent on astronomy directly or indirectly on astronomy or space science research. The total NASA budget accounts for about 2.3 percent of the federal discretionary budget. A little over 2 percent may not sound like a large number, but it is interesting to note that the NASA budget is one of the larger outlays that the government makes. NASA's budget in FY 2000, 13.6 billion, was much larger than our international assistance...

Astronomy in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods

The conquests of Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the Mediterrean, the Near East, and as far as India. Among the ancient histories of Hellenistic astronomy, two stand out the Commentaries on Aristotle's De Caelo by Simplicios of Cilicia (fl. 6th century a.d.) and a work of Eudemos of Rhodes, (fl. 325 b.c.), who was a pupil of Aristotle. Sarton (1952 1970, I, p. 505) regards Eudemos as the first historian of mathematics and, with Menon, the first historian of medicine and another student of Aristotle. Eudemos's writings included histories of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, all of which are now lost, but some of his material is cited by Aristotle, and the works are mentioned in the writings of Proclus (d. 485 a.d.). A tertiary source is Simplicios (6th century a.d.), who cites Sosigenes (Julius Caesar's astronomical consultant, responsible for the reform of the Roman calendar) who had access to Eudemos's astronomical history.

The Early Developments In Astronomy

This part of the book covers the period when observations of the Universe relied entirely on the unaided human eye with its consequent limits and constraints. It starts in ancient times when the earliest civilizations showed a fascination for astronomy, albeit with astrological overtones, and it ends with the Renaissance when the subject was put on to a firm scientific footing and when a new age was heralded by the invention of the telescope. To give some idea of the timescale of the development of life on Earth, the important milestones are listed in the table which also scales real times to one year, that is, as if the Earth were formed on 1 January and its present age is midnight on New Year's eve. This demonstrates vividly the very slow initial development, and then the very rapid later evolution of life, together with the relatively brief presence of Homo sapiens. Since this story relates the attempts of the human race to study and understand the Universe it lives in, it is...

Lunar Farside Radio Astronomy and Other Potential Astronomical Facilities

Radio astronomy is the branch of astronomy that collects and evaluates radio signals from extraterrestrial radio sources. Radio astronomy is a relatively young branch of astronomy. It was started in the 1930s, when Karl Guthe Jansky (1905-50), an American radio engineer, detected the first extraterrestrial radio signals. Until Jansky's discovery, astronomers had used only the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to view the universe. The detailed observation of cosmic radio sources is difficult, however, because these sources shed so little energy on Earth. But starting in the mid-1940s with the pioneering work of the British astronomer Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell (b. 1913), at the United Kingdom's Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories at Jodrell Bank, the radio telescope has been used to discover some extraterrestrial radio sources so unusual that their very existence had not even been imagined or predicted by scientists. The Arecibo Observatory, a 1,000-foot-...

Late Indian Astronomy

The writing of Abu Ma'shar, described above, contains asterisms taken from the works of Varahamihira a single name often written as Varaha Mihira Indian astronomer, < 505 590 . This is of interest because among Varahami-hira's writings are the Panca Siddhantika, summaries of five astronomical treatises that are no longer extant. Sections of them demonstrate the use of Babylonian linear methods (the step functions of system A, actually see Neugebauer 1957 1969, pp. 172-174). It contains the following passage The Greeks, indeed are foreigners, but with them . . . astronomy is in a flourishing state. (Neugebauer 1957 1969, p. 174). The work, however, does not contain details of the Ptolemaic theory, thus, indicating transmission of these materials prior to 150 a.d. Thus, the transmission of astronomical ideas from Babylon of Hellenistic times to India and back to the Middle East is demonstrated. Varahamihira was also used as a source by al-Blruni (fl. 1030) for his famous work on India...

Post Renaissance Astronomy

In astronomy, the posthumous 1543 printing of On the Revolutions of the World by Nicholas Copernicus Polish physician and canon lawyer 1473-1543 marked the revival of the heliocentric theory, although its success was not immediately apparent. Copernicus's model involved circular motions of the planets, including the Earth so it was hardly the modern heliocentric theory. In agreement with noted Islamic astronomers, Copernicus rejected the equant as a device to save the phenemonena instead, he adopted small epicycles to explain the residuals in the planetary distances. His solutions tended to be the same He made use of Ibn al-Shatir's models for lunar and planetary motions, and the Tusi couple ( 7.4) to model planetary oscillations in latitude, as well as the variation of the obliquity. Although Copernicus's work was often cited over the following century, his cosmology was rarely advocated in the universities of this period. Since the novelty of the hypotheses of this work has already...

Egyptian Astronomy and Its Role in Religion

For many years, the most important work on Egyptian astronomy was that of Neugebauer and Parker (1960 1969). This has been amplified and in many ways superseded by the work of Clagett (1995). Among the Greeks and Romans, it was widely believed that Egyptian astronomy was greatly superior to their own. Modern scholars have found nothing to justify such a belief. There is no indication that any sort of mathematical astronomy comparable to that of Mesopotamia flourished in Egypt prior to the Greek takeover. However, there is substantial evidence that many Egyptian deities were identified as Sun, Moon, planets, or asterisms. The importance of astronomy in the religion and calendar is evident. In the tomb of Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings near Thebes, the religious context of the hours of the night are made clear. The entire text of the Amduat or Book of What is in the Underworld appears on the burial chamber wall it can be found in Clagett (1989). It is set out in 12 chapters or...

Polynesian and Micronesian Astronomy

Colonizing a diverse range of island environments prior to European contact. Astronomy was a major factor in their ocean navigation. Directional stars were used to guide navigators to familiar and not-too-distant islands. On land, directional stones or even stone canoes were set up so that would-be voyagers could sight along them and learn the appearance of the stars in the required direction of travel. For longer journeys, one of the most important prerequisites was acquiring a knowledge of the rising and setting positions of various stars around the horizon, the so-called star compass. This, combined with various techniques for dead reckoning, allowed navigators to estimate their current position in relation to the island they had left or to the one they were trying to reach. There is also patchy evidence for the use of a variety of other techniques, such as the use of zenith stars passing directly overhead to estimate the current latitude, and even (in the Hawaiian islands) the use...

Practical Astronomy Books

Art and Science of CCD Astronomy, D. Ratledge, Springer-Verlag, 1997. Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs, M. Mobberley, Springer-Verlag, 1999. Astronomical Spectroscopy, C.R. Kitchin, Adam Hilger, 1995. Astronomy with Small Telescopes, S.F. Tonkin, Springer-Verlag, 2001. Astrophysical Techniques, C.R. Kitchin, 4th edition, IoP press, 2003, Cambridge Deep-Sky Album, J. Newton and P. Teece, Cambridge University Press, 1983 Deep Sky Observer's Year, G. Privett and P. Parsons, Springer-Verlag, 2001. Deep Sky Observing, S.R. Coe, Springer-Verlag, 2000. Field Guide to the Deep Sky Objects, M. Inglis, Springer-Verlag, 2001. Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy, C.R. Kitchin, Springer-Verlag, 2002.

Light is the astronomers lab experiment

Understanding light, and how it interacts with matter, is very important for astronomers, because their science usually is done passively, by analyzing light from stars. They can't perform experiments, they can only look. Although we usually think of light'' as visible light, that's just a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes radio waves and X-rays. One of the reasons astronomy has been so successful in gaining knowledge about the Universe is that astronomers have become more adept at collecting and analyzing light throughout the electromagnetic spectrum.

Roman Astronomy and Astrology

Unlike the temples in ancient Greece, Roman temples are not obviously consistent in their orientation. Nor did any great innovations in philosophical cosmology or mathematical astronomy emerge in the Roman world at least none that are well known to modern historians of science. Roman astronomy, it seems, was more pragmatic in nature, often intimately bound up with prognostication and astrology. One of the best-known manifestations of Roman astronomy is the Julian calendar. It evolved initially from a simple sequence of indigenous festivals related to the farmers' seasonal year, then became increasingly formalized as Roman society became increasingly urbanized. At first the civic calendar was based on the phase cycles of the moon, but it faced increasingly serious problems in getting out of step with the seasonal year because of po The civic calendar aside, there is little doubt that astronomy played a significant role in many aspects of Roman life. Land surveyors, employed all over...

Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers SARA

Coordinate what is probably the least practised aspect of amateur astronomy - radio observations of Solar System and cosmic radio sources. SARA encourages the continual surveillance of wide areas of the sky in search of new or unusual radio emissions. It publishes a monthly Journal the membership also includes professional radio astronomers. SOFIA Abbreviation of stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy software, astronomical Modern professional astronomy relies extensively on software - the programmed sequences of instructions that control modern digital computers. Astronomers use computers networked through the Internet and World Wide Web to plan observations. Some observatories use intelligent scheduling programs to determine when observations will be made. During an observation, a telescope is controlled by programs that correct for telescope deformation and keep the telescope tracking the target object (see active optics, adaptive optics). The instrumentation generates...

Extragalactic Stellar Astronomy

Ellanic Clouds to be obtained (Venn et al. 2003, and references therein). Progress in this branch of extragalactic stellar astronomy is slow, as high-resolution spectroscopy of supergiants at these distances is costly. Several hours of observing time on 8-10m-class telescopes are required per object.

An Astronomer For Astro

Bob Parker had been named to the crew of Astro-1 as MS 1 in June 1984 and began training for the mission from that time. He was named with fellow astronomer Jeff Hoffman (MS 3) from the 1978 group and 1980 astronaut Dave Leestma who would serve as MS 2 FE. Their announcement to the flight allowed them to work with Principal Investigators to begin preliminary discussions over the science objectives of the mission in line with CB guidelines and STS safely rules. The following January, Jon McBride and Dick Richards were named as commander and pilot respectively for the mission and began working with Leestma to develop the flight operational requirements for the mission. They would also coordinate with Parker and Hoffman over the orbital manoeuvring requirements for the science objectives. In October 1985, the payload specialist assignments were announced, with Ron Parise and Sam Durrance in the primary positions and Ken Nordsieck as back-up. As each Astro PS was scheduled to make two...

Kitt Peak is a good place to do astronomy

Back in 1955, when looking for a site for a national observatory, astronomers realized very quickly that the Desert Southwest would be a good location. It was already known that the sunniest location in the continental United States was the area around Yuma, Arizona, so logically the best location should be on the most suitable mountain near Yuma. In addition to clear dark skies, astronomers also needed a location near a city with a university to provide technical support for the observatory. After several years of testing the seeing, which is an astronomer's technical way of measuring the amount of twinkling, Kitt Peak was selected. Even though there was no road to the base of Kitt Peak (let alone to the summit) at the time, the first research telescope was operational in 1960. Although most people do not give any thought to light pollution, our casual lighting of the skies over cities means that most people in the western world no longer can see the true beauty of the night sky. In...

How Much Longer Will Radio Astronomy Last

We have traveled the invisible universe of radio astronomy and taxed our imaginations as we struggled to comprehend the enormity of radio galaxies and quasars and the pervasive presence of black holes in space. We have visited clouds of molecules between the stars and seen the wonders at the center of the Galaxy. Now we should stop for a moment and ask how much longer will radio astronomy last This question is not asked lightly. Radio astronomers observe in the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but there are many people who would like to use those same radio bands for other purposes. Some of the more obvious groups (or services) with an interest are the communications and entertainment industries, the military, and NASA. Cell phones, wireless networks, GPS. and a host of other new fangled uses of the electromagnetic spectrum come at a price. They all need parts of the radio band and pose a potential threat to radio astronomy by generating unwanted radio...

Astronomy on Kitt Peak

Getting time on a telescope at Kitt Peak Astronomers desiring observing time on a telescope at Kitt Peak have to write proposals (a formal request for observing time), which are then judged against proposals submitted by other astronomers. The proposal explains why the topic is interesting, what the astronomer wants to observe, and what they hope to learn from their observations. The proposal must also explain how much time the project will take, and justify that amount of time. In general, less than half of submitted proposals get telescope time. From the time the astronomer first develops a proposal until they get the observations can be a year. Imagine what they feel like if it's cloudy the whole time they're on the mountain (this has happened several times to LJS)

Increasing your knowledge of astronomy

Astronomy is a lot of fun - even professional astronomers generally feel that way as long as the skies are clear Be sure to enjoy those dark, clear nights in the southwest. If you are interested in learning more about astronomy, there are many good sources to help you get started. For the less technically minded, the magazine Astronomy is a good choice Sky & Telescope caters to more advanced amateurs. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada produces The Observer's Handbook every year it contains a wealth of information about the night sky. Scientific American, Science News, and New Scientist all publish articles about astronomy. For the more scientifically literate, the journal Nature contains original research papers on some of the most recent and exciting discoveries. You also can get a lot of information from internet web pages (see page 104).

Becoming a professional astronomer takes a long time

Most astronomers have at least a bachelor's degree in physics. There used to be a distinction between astronomers and astrophysicists, but this is rapidly dying out as the requirement for a strong physics background becomes more widespread. A Ph.D. in astronomy or physics is a basic requirement for becoming a researcher it takes about six years, on average, after obtaining a bachelor's degree. Be warned, though less than 25 percent of people with Ph.D.'s in astronomy get jobs as professors or researchers at institutes such as NOAO. Some take positions that support research in various ways, often associated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but many end up working in jobs not related to astronomy at all. Completing a Ph.D. in astronomy could be one of the most enjoyable things you do during your life, but it is very important not to have any expectations of long-term employment in the field. Selecting a graduate school is an important step. Some people...

Astronomy beyond photons

Major new facilities that detect signals from the cosmos other than electromagnetic radiation are bringing new fields into the forefront of astronomy. Neutrino observatories study the energy-producing thermonuclear reactions at the center of the sun with detectors utilizing chlorine, gallium, and pure water, the latter making use of Cerenkov radiation from recoil electrons. The pioneering Homestake mine experiment and the huge Super-Kamiokande experiment are important examples. Neutrino astronomers detected a flash of neutrinos from the collapse of a star in the supernova SN 1987A and hope to see extragalactic flashes from gamma-ray bursts. Cosmic ray observatories study highly energetic charged particles (mostly protons) entering the atmosphere from the Galaxy and probably extragalactic sources. The element abundances at energies < 1 GeV provide a lifetime ( 107 yr) for their storage in the Galaxy. The highest energy particles initiate extensive air showers (EAS) of particles in...

Caribbean Archaeoastronomy

The Caribbean Islands were peopled by groups from South America, principally Arawakan and Cariban speakers. Robiou has attempted a synthesis of the mythology with local ecology, astronomically marked seasonal events, and with astronomical alignments, especially of plazas and ballcourts among the Taino. Taino mythology was recorded by friar Ramon Pane in 1498, the earliest recorded work on the beliefs of any tribe in the Americas. Robiou has suggested that three mythological themes may be associated with astronomy on the basis of comparisons with South American myths. The myth of weeping children, abandoned by their mothers, and changed into frogs is, he thinks, to be associated with the Pleiades. In the Taino version, the mothers of the children are carried off by the hero, Gua-hayona, in his canoe. At the start of his voyage, Guahayona drowned his brother-in-law, Anacacuya. Robiou accepts a translation of Anacacuya as Central Spirit or Star of the Centre, which he equates with the...

The Descent of the Gods and the Purposes of Ancient Astronomy

The central themes of archaeoastronomy are the relationships that people have seen between themselves and the heavens and the ways in which these relationships have been reflected in archeological remains. The related study of ancient astronomy needs to be integrated with all available relevant information on myths and religious practices in as clear a cultural context as possible. In many cases, myths provide a descriptive account of astronomical processes or events, related to behavioral patterns of the particular group. We have found that the purposes of ancient astronomy tend to fall in the general areas of calendrics, navigation, and astrology. In this section, we draw attention to notable similarities and differences among cultures around the world and offer some interpretations of the patterns we recognize. The major difficulties of interpretation lie in deciding what material is relevant. If we try to interpret a myth astronomically when it had no astronomical referent, we...

Astronomy in Mythology and Ancient Religion

A great deal of his presentation is devoted to an analogy between myth and music that presupposes that the reader has a detailed knowledge of modern music and of the history and theory of music. Levi-Strauss claims that the structures of music and of myth are dependent on the same basic properties of the human brain and particularly on binary oppositions. In terms of archaeoastronomy, his most interesting conclusion is that a considerable number of myths incorporate an astronomical code that is hidden behind surface messages that have no astronomical content. Unfortunately, his astronomy is merely a statement of structural oppositions about astronomy, such as a widespread contrast between organized Orion and chaotic Pleiades. He makes no attempt either to reconstruct mythical prototypes or to determine whether astronomical events or processes are being described. He sometimes concludes that widespread similarities among myths (of which he has striking knowledge) are due to similar...

EUV astronomy in the 21st century

The astrophysical research discipline we now know as Extreme Ultraviolet astronomy is approximately 30 years old. An observational technique once dismissed as impossible has become established as a significant branch of space astronomy and a major contributor to our knowledge of the Universe. In several areas, the science obtained from EUV observations is unique. For example, the presence of the He II Lyman series in this spectral range provides a diagnostic tool for the study of the second most abundant element in the Universe in the atmospheres of hot stars and in interstellar space. The determination of the ionisation fraction of helium in the local ISM could not have been carried out in any other spectral range. EUV astronomy has passed through the development phases that might be deemed typical of a discipline depending on access to space. Beginning with the sounding rocket borne experiments of the early 1970s, the longer duration Apollo-Soyuz Test Project highlighted the...

Visible Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy

VISTA (acronym for 'Visible-Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy') British project to build a southern-hemisphere 4-m (157-in.) wide-field survey telescope to support the current generation of 8-10-metre class telescopes. The telescope will be located at Paranal Observatory and will be shared with the european southern observatory (ESO) as part of the UK's entry agreement with ESO. It will be operational by 2004. Originally, the telescope was planned to have wide-field imagers in both the visible and infrared wavebands, but the visible-light function will now be carried out by ESO's VST (see paranal observatory), so VISTA will be an infrared-only telescope. Vogel, Hermann Carl (1841-1907) German astronomer who pioneered the use of spectroscopy to determine stellar diameters and masses, leading to the

Astrology and the Purposes of Archaeoastronomy

Astrology has traditionally dealt with the belief that the movements of the planets influence events on Earth. The belief is still with us, and it seems to be as popular as ever. Personal astrology, examples of which are found in most newspapers under horoscopes, operates under the assumption that the planetary configurations at the time of the birth of an individual in some way determine that individual's prospects and fate. Most newspaper horoscopes refer only to the astrological signs associated with birthdates and not to the circumstances of any particular year of birth. These can be considered primitive forms of horoscopes the casting of more elaborate types has been carried out since the 5th century b.c. or earlier in Mesopotamia. The heliocentric advocate and pioneer of modern astronomy, Johannes Kepler, cast horoscopes for the generals of the Holy Roman Empire as part of his duties as Imperial Math 16 Canon XXXVI of the Synod held in Laodicea (in Phrygia Pacatiana) sometime...

B1 The video astronomy revolution

The reason DSLRs are not used for high-resolution lunar and planetary work is that another, much cheaper, instrument works much better. Just before the DSLR revolution came the video astronomy revolution. By aligning the best frames from a video recording, it suddenly became possible for amateurs with modest telescopes to take pictures like Figure B.1, which were, until then, almost beyond the reach of any earth-based telescope. The resolution of planetary images is limited by the turbulence of the atmosphere. By aligning hundreds or thousands of images, the video astronomer can see right through the turbulence. Air movements that are different in every frame cancel each other out, and what's left is what all the frames have in common, namely the true appearance of the planet.

A2 Spherical Astronomy Aids

Spherical Astronomy (Cambridge University Press), includes discussions of relativistic effects. (2) Smart, W.M., Spherical Astronomy, revised by Green, R.M. (1977), and still the best general discussions of spherical astronomy. (3) Woolard and Clemence (1966) Spherical Astronomy (New York Academic Press), contains useful formulas and discussions beyond those discussed here.

Maria Mitchell Nantuckets Great Astronomer

The quote concerning the eclipse of 1878 with which Chapter 9 began was from the writings of Maria Mitchell, who was Professor of Astronomy at Vassar College (in Poughkeepsie, New York) from 1865 until 1888. She died the following year in Lynn, Massachusetts, but she had been born in 1818 on Nantucket, and she is still strongly associated with the island. Mitchell was a woman famed around the world, with due cause. The list of her achievements is phenomenal, especially in the context of her times, when almost all spheres of public life were entirely the provinces of men. She was the first female professor of astronomy, and indeed one of the greatest American scientists of the nineteenth century. In 1848 she was elected the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (and it was 1943 before another woman was voted in, a situation Mitchell herself would have deplored). Two years later, in 1850, the American Association for the Advancement of Science also admitted her...

Kepler And Physical Astronomy

Kepler learned about heliocentric astronomy at the University of Tubingen, where he studied first as a student in the faculty of arts and later as a clergyman in training in the faculty of theology. Tubingen was a leading center of Lutheran theology, and Kepler planned to pursue a career in the church. One of his professors in Tubingen was Michael Maestlin, a supporter of the Copernican system and a prominent astronomer in the last decades of the sixteenth century. From his first encounter with the Copernican system Kepler became an advocate for the new cosmology, about whose correctness he seems never to have had any doubts. But that speculation of the regular solids, what, I beg, does it offer to Astronomy It can (he says) be useful for marking the limits or defining the order or magnitude of the celestial orbs, yet clearly the distance of the orbs are derived from another source, i.e., a posteriori, from the observations. And, having defined Despite its speculative character,...

Ptolemys Exposition Of Mathematical Astronomy

Hundreds of years of Greek geometrical astronomy was systematized and quantified with rigorous geometrical demonstrations and proofs by Claudius Ptolemaeus around a.d. 140. He did for astronomy what Euclid had done for geometry and earned a reputation as the greatest astronomer of the ancient world. Ptolemy's mathematical systematic treatise of astronomy, The Mathematical Syntaxis, soon attracted the appellation megiste, Greek for greatest. This was transliterated into Arabic and preceded by al, Arabic for the. Ptolemy's complete exposition of mathematical astronomy became, upon passing from Arabic into medieval Latin in a.d. 1175, the Almagest. This Latin translation became, in a.d. 1515, the first printed version of the Almagest. The Almagest proceeds in logical order, beginning with a brief introduction to the nature of astronomy and a presentation of the necessary trigonometric theory and spherical astronomy. Then come theories of the Sun and the Moon, an account of eclipses...

Practical Statistics for Astronomers

Practical Statistics For Astronomer

Practical Statistics for Astronomers Astronomy, like any experimental subject, needs statistical methods to interpret data reliably. This practical handbook presents the most relevant statistical and probabilistic machinery for use in observational astronomy. Classical parametric and non-parametric methods are covered, but there is a strong emphasis on Bayesian solutions and the importance of probability in experimental inference. Chapters cover basic probability, correlation analysis, hypothesis testing, Bayesian modelling, time series analysis, luminosity functions and clustering. The book avoids the technical language of statistics in favour of demonstrating astronomical relevance and applicability. It contains many worked examples and problems that make use of databases which are available on the Web. It is suitable for self-study at advanced undergraduate or graduate level, as a reference for professional astronomers, and as a textbook basis for courses in statistical methods in...

Babylonian Astronomy and Astrology

Ancient Babylonia occupies a pivotal place in the history of modern scientific astronomy. In great part this is due to the conscientious nature of the astronomical observations that were made there and the meticulous way in which they were recorded for generation after generation. In time, the existence of a huge, cumulative database of past observations made possible the development of mathematically based rules for predicting future events. The Babylonian legacy of careful observation and recording combined with mathematical modeling went on to influence developments in ancient Greece and beyond. The other reason ancient Babylonia is so important to modern historians of astronomy is the fortunate choice of medium on which many of the ancient astronomical observations (along with many other documents) were recorded. The method used was to press wedge-shaped marks into smooth, damp tablets of clay using a stylus. Subsequently, the tablets were dried in the sun or fired in kilns for...

Early interest in astronomy

Hubble learned to read early and evidently found his school work tedious, for his marks in deportment were never exemplary. But outside the classroom he found intellectual stimulation through his relationship with his maternal grandfather, the amateur astronomer William James, and his paternal grandfather, Martin Hubble. Martin Hubble, a notably tall and broad-shouldered man, divided his time between homes in Marshfield and Springfield, 20 miles away. He had fought on the Union side of the Civil War, as a captain and quartermaster in the Enrolled Missouri Militia, one of 89 small regiments funded by the state government to defend cities, towns and railroads. ''Captain'' Hubble, as his friends and neighbors knew him, believed strongly in education he helped to endow Drury College, a four-year Christian school in Spring-field and engaged his grandson in discussions about astronomy and American history. He lived longer than Hubble's maternal grandfather, and figured prominently in the...

Eclipse Prediction and Tamil Astronomy

Probably the best-known story about Indian (actually Tamil21) astronomy is that told by Warren (1825), recounted in Neugebauer (1952 1983a, p. 435) about a kalendar maker in Pondicherry, who demonstrated to Warren a technique to predict a lunar eclipse by means of memorized tables and the movement of shells on the ground. Neugebauer cites this as an example of a continuous tradition stemming from the 6th century (with Varahamihira) in India, back through the 3rd-century Roman empire, and ultimately to Seleucid era cuneiform tablets, no later than the 2nd century b.c. Apparently, the key to the tables lay in word association, because Warren writes about certain artificial words and syllables being used, and he did not understand a word of the theories of Hindu astronomy, but was endowed with a retentive memory, which enabled him to arrange very distinctly his operations in his mind, and on the ground. The demonstration consisted of the computation of the circumstances of the eclipse of...

Lyman Spitzer Jr and the Vision of Space Based Astronomy

In 1946, more than a decade before the launch of the first artificial satellite, the American astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer Jr. (1914-97) proposed the development of a large, space-based observatory that could operate unhindered by distortions in Earth's atmosphere. His vision ultimately became NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990. Spitzer was a renowned astrophysicist who made major contributions in the areas of stellar dynamics, plasma physics, and thermonuclear fusion, as well as space-based astronomy. NASA launched the Space Infrared Telescope Facility in 2003 and renamed this sophisticated new space-based infrared telescope the Spitzer Space Telescope in his honor. Spitzer was born on June 26, 1914, in Toledo, Ohio. He attended Yale University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in physics in 1935. Following a year at Cambridge University, he entered Princeton University, where he earned his master's degree in 1937 and then a doctorate in astrophysics in...

Advanced XRay Astronomy Facility AXAFChandra

Launched on July 23, 1999, the third of NASA's great observatories, the AXAF Chandra is designed to study our universe in X-rays. The working name of the observatory was the Advanced X-Ray Astronomy Facility, but the telescope was renamed (after an open naming contest) in honor of the famous Indian American astronomer Subrah-manyan Chandrasekhar. Chandrasekhar provided a great deal of the theoretical underpinnings that describe the emission of X-rays from astrophysical objects he won the 1983 Nobel Prize for his work. The instrumentation on Chandra includes the High Resolution Camera (HRC), the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS), and two high-resolution spectrometers the High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS) and the Low Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (LETGS). The HRC is the instrument that produces high-resolution pictures of sources as seen in X-rays, and the three spectrometers divide up the electromagnetic spectrum into smaller pieces so that...

The Purposes of Chinese Astronomy

The Han dynasty was the 1st to establish imperial rule over a political entity roughly comparable to modern China. It is only from this time that we can discern the establishment of the main outlines of Chinese astronomical and cosmological thinking. According to Sivin (1969), the success of Chinese astronomy as a predictive science owes much to its divorce from traditionalist cosmologies, which, as in the west, tended to restrict experimentation and rethinking. The predictive science in itself was not part of a deductive scheme, except insofar as it occasionally required expedient correctives. Our knowledge of the astronomy of the period has been considerably increased by the discovery of the burial of a man named Li, the son of the 1st Marquis of Yi in 168 b.c. at Mawandui (or Ma-Wang-tui), Ch'ang-sha, Hunan, with 20 silk books. These included Classics on Stars, which incorporated the writings of the astronomers Gan De (or Kan-te) in his Astronomy, and Shi Shen (Astrological...

George Biddell Airy Astronomer Royal

A complete daily record of his activities aid thoughts. His financial accounts were personal kept by double entry throughout his life, and hi regarded their keeping as one of his greatest joji' He never destroyed a document and preserved his old checkbook stubs, bills, and receipts free merchants in chronological order. A colleague i Cambridge quipped, if Airy wiped his pen oui piece of blotting-paper, he would duly endorse the blotting-paper with the date and particulars of te use, and file it away amongst his papers.1 1 As a fellow of TVinity College in 1824, he sethis sights on the position of astronomer royal ami refused to accept an assistantship at the Roys Observatory because assistants had not previously been promoted to the post. Instead he fought his way upward through professorships at CambrMji campaigning successfully for higher pay. In 183 because of his clear, enthusiastic, and engaging way of explain-the Pu was popular with astronomers because he liked to iden- George...

Practical Amateur Astronomy Digital SLR Astrophotography

In the last few years, digital SLR cameras have taken the astrophotography world by storm. It is now easier to photograph the stars than ever before They are compact and portable, easy to couple to special lenses and all types of telescopes, and above all, DSLR cameras are easy and enjoyable to use. In this concise guide, experienced astrophotography expert Michael Covington outlines the simple, enduring basics that will enable you to get started, and help you get the most from your equipment. He covers a wide range of equipment, simple and advanced projects, technical considerations, and image processing techniques. Unlike other astrophotography books, this one focuses specifically on DSLR cameras, not astronomical CCDs, non-DSLR digital cameras, or film. This guide is ideal for astrophotographers who wish to develop their skills using DSLR cameras and as a friendly introduction to amateur astronomers or photographers curious about photographing the night sky. Further information,...

Early Greek astronomy

Up until about 300 BC, Greek astronomy was almost entirely qualitative. Indeed, there is no evidence that the accurate prediction of heavenly phenomena was even thought of as a desirable goal. This situation changed when the Greeks came into contact with the quantitative methods of Babylonian astronomers during the expansion of their empire under Alexander the Great. Before then, however, celestial phenomena were the subject of a great deal of philosophical debate that provided the basis on which later astronomers could build. Four major schools of philosophical thought existed during the 300 or so years prior to the construction of the first mathematical model of the Universe by Eudoxus.13 There were the Ionians, a group founded by Thales of Miletus (in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey) in about 600 BC. During the sixth century BC the region of Asia Minor went through a considerable upheaval due to the expansion of the Persian empire and many philosophers travelled to other parts of the...

Development of Indian Astronomy

A massive amount has been written about Indian astronomy several thousand manuscripts (Pingree 1970 1981 Sarma 1990a,b,c,d). The best way for a western scholar to approach Indian astronomy at present is through the compilation and translation of selected sources by Subbrayappa and Sarma (1985) with guidance from Pingree (1978 1981). In particular, Pingree (1978) summarizes the major features of Indian astronomy and its evolution. The relationships of astronomy to architecture and to mythology are hardly mentioned in this material but are the subjects of a great deal of additional literature. Michell (1977 1989) provides a useful introduction to architecture that keeps its cosmic features constantly in mind. Hopkins (1915 1969) provides a convenient guide to mythology but has no systematic consideration of astronomical features. Pingree (1978) describes Indian astronomy in terms of five chronological divisions Pingree thinks that there was no mathematically based astronomy during the...

Astronomys exciting future

Mexico, which was featured in the movie Contact. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is preparing to build the Atacama Large Millimeter-wave Array in the high desert of northern Chile, in order to look at the very youngest galaxies in the Universe. NASA is thinking of building a larger version of the Hubble Space Telescope and an optical interferometer in space. Together, these new telescopes will allow astronomers to see fainter, finer, and more distant structures than ever before. This is an exciting time to be an astronomer.

Astronomy Methods

Astronomy Methods is an introduction to the basic practical tools, methods and phenomena that underlie quantitative astronomy. Taking a technical approach, the author covers a rich diversity of topics across all branches of astronomy, from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. Topics include the quantitative aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum, atmospheric and interstellar absorption, telescopes in all wavebands, interferometry, adaptive optics, the transport of radiation through matter to form spectral lines, and neutrino and gravitational-wave astronomy. Clear, systematic presentations of the topics are accompanied by diagrams and problem sets. Written for undergraduates and graduate students, this book contains a wealth of information that is required for the practice and study of quantitative and analytical astronomy and astrophysics. Hale Bradt is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over his forty years on the faculty, he carried out research...

Ancient Astronomy

N.) Ancient astronomy an encyclopedia of cosmologies and myth Clive Ruggles. p. cm. ISBN 1-85109-477-6 (acid-free paper) ISBN 1-85109-616-7 (eBook) 1. Astronomy, Ancient Encyclopedias. 2. Cosmology Encyclopedias. 3. Astrology and mythology Encyclopedias. I. Title.

Astronomy

Department of Astronomy University of Washington The purpose of this Outline is to serve as a supplement to a basic astronomy text. Much of the material here is abbreviated, and students should use this book as a guide to the key concepts in modern astronomy, but not as an all-inclusive resource. Topics covered range from planetary astronomy to cosmology, in the modern context. The first chapter covers most of the phsyics required to obtain a basic understanding of astronomical phenomena. The student will most likely come back to this chapter again and again as they progress through the book. The order of the topics has been set by the most common order of these topics in textbooks (near objects to far objects), but many of the chapters are quite independent, with few references to previous chapters, and may be studied out of order. History of Astronomy Timeline

Spherical Astronomy

Spherical astronomy is a science studying astronomical coordinate frames, directions and apparent motions ofcelestial objects,determination ofposition from astronomical observations, observational errors, etc. We shall concentrate mainly on astronomical coordinates, apparent motions of stars and time reckoning. Also, some of the most important star catalogues will be introduced. For simplicity we will assume that the observer is always on the northern hemisphere. Although all definitions and equations are easily generalized for both hemispheres, this might be unnecessarily confusing. In spherical astronomy all angles are usually expressed in degrees we will also use degrees unless otherwise mentioned.

Archaeoastronomy

Archaeoastronomy is best defined as the study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky in the past, and especially in prehistory, and the uses to which people's knowledge of the skies were put. It can be misleading to think of archaeoastronomy as the study of ancient astronomy, since people in the past might have related to the sky in very different ways from people in the modern Western world. For this reason many people prefer to avoid the word astronomy altogether. Some speak of astronomies to emphasize There have been scientific investigations of the possible astronomical significance of spectacular ancient monuments ever since the later nineteenth century in the work of Sir Norman Lockyer and Alexander Thom, for example. However, the term archaeoastronomy has only been in existence since 1969 and soon thereafter came to take on a much broader meaning. Some popular authors such as Gerald Hawkins, whose book Stonehenge Decoded brought Stonehenge into the limelight in the...

Astronomy as a Hobby

Astronomy is the one science in which these limitations are not so crippling. The chances of making an important discovery are less than they used to be, but they still exist for instance Tom Bopp, co-discoverer of the brilliant comet which graced our skies a few years ago, is purely an amateur, and so is Rev. Robert Evans, the Australian clergyman who has discovered a remarkable number of exploding stars in external galaxies. There is plenty of scope. It is obvious that there are some branches of astronomy which cannot be tackled by the amateur, but others can, mainly because professional astronomers have neither the time or the inclination to undertake some types of routine work. To drive home this point, it may be useful to give a definite instance of what I mean, though admittedly it does go back a good many more years. In 1955 it was found that the giant planet Jupiter is a source of radio waves, and researchers were very anxious to know whether these radiations came from the...

Radio astronomy

Radio astronomy owes its origins to an accidental discovery by Karl Jansky, an engineer at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. In 1931, Jansky detected a mysterious source of radio interference. He noticed that this interference reached its peak four minutes earlier each day. This timing suggests an object that is fixed with respect to the stars. (This four minute per day shift is caused by the Earth's motion around the Sun. This and other aspects of astronomical timekeeping are discussed in Appendix G.) The time of maximum interference coincided with the galactic center crossing the local meridian. Jansky concluded that he was receiving radio waves from The discovery was not followed up immediately. In fact, for a long time there was only one active radio astronomer. Grote Reber was an amateur radio astronomer in Illinois, who carried out observations on his back yard radio telescope in the 1930s and early 1940s. (When Reber submitted his first paper for publication in The...

New Astronomy

On February 22, 1901, after racing through space for 1,500 years, the light from a nova burst into view in the constellation Perseus. Nova Persei reached a maximum brightness equal to that of Capella, the sixth-brightest star in the sky. Within a year, astronomers observed an expanding shell of gas, called the Firework Nebula, around the nova. This was the first nova to be studied using the new tool of spectroscopy. Yet, it would be decades before theories were developed to explain the meaning of this observational data. In 1901, astronomers did not know how stars evolved or how long they lived. Astronomy was mostly a mathematical science involved with measuring the positions, distances, movement, and brightness of stars. This emphasis began to change as astronomers examined spectra gathered in sky surveys of the 1890s. By comparing the spectra to those of hot gases in laboratories on Earth, astronomers discovered that stars were made of familiar elements. (Helium was first discovered...

Astronomy in India

Indian astronomy has a rich history, right up to modern times.1 The Vedic religion, from which modern Hinduism has developed, is one of the earliest religions recorded in written form (the language being Sanskrit) and the Vedic literature contains many references to the heavens and their divine qualities. The earliest astronomical text-the VedangaJyotisa-dates backto around 1200 BC. It is clear from the use of numerical periods determined by the Babylonians that the two civilizations were in contact and, from the use of epicyclic mechanisms, that at some time between Hipparchus and Ptolemy aspects of Greek astronomy were transmitted to India, though the precise mechanism is uncertain. That this happened before Ptolemy can be deduced from the fact that the lunar theories of the Hindus show no evidence of Ptolemy's modifications to Hipparchus' theory. Two different approaches are evident in early Hindu astronomy. First, there were arithmetical methods similar to those developed by the...

Islamic astronomy

After a couple of centuries of rapid expansion, the Islamic civilization settled down and scholarship began to flourish. From the eighth to the fourteenth centuries, most of the advances in astronomy were achieved by scholars in the Middle East, North Africa, and Moorish Spain. This work crossed religious and ethnic boundaries, with contributions from, among others, Arabs, Iranians, and Turks, and from Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Islamic scholarship explored all branches of knowledge and built on not only the traditions of Greek science and philosophy, but also those of Persia, India, central Asia, and to some extent, China. The unifying feature of this endeavour was the Arabic language, which was very flexible so that it was possible for translators to create the The Islamic civilization contributed a great amount of theory, computation and instrumentation to astronomy, but it did not provide many observations for later use because, by and large, Islamic astronomers followed...

Astronomy Star

By the end of the decade, Hubble was famous. He had won virtually every award in astronomy, including the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1938), the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute (1939), and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1940). His fame, furthermore, extended well beyond the astronomical community. For instance, one of several popular books he wrote about astronomy, The Realm of the Nebulae, became a best seller when it was published in 1936. With his well-tailored clothes, British accent, and pipe, Edwin Hubble was the perfect picture of a distinguished scientist, and people were eager to meet him. He and his wife, Grace, whom he had married in 1924, attended many Hollywood parties in the 1930s and 1940s and became friends with film personalities such as Charlie Chaplin. Donald Osterbrock and his coauthors wrote that Hubble's compelling personality seemed less like those of other astronomers than like those of the movie...

Greek Astronomy

20 A little later, the astronomer Meton (born about 460 bc) made the discovery that the length of 19 yeais is very neaily equal to that of 235 lunar months (the difference being m fact less than a day), and he devised accordingly an arrangement of 12 years of 12 months and 7 of 13 months, 125 of the months m the whole cycle being full and the others empty Nearly a centuiy later Ccilhppits made a slight improvement, by substituting m every fourth period of 19 years a full month foi one of the empty ones. Whether Meton's cycle, as it is called, was introduced for the civil calendar or not is unceitam, but if not it was used as a standard by reference to which the actual calendai was from time to time adjusted The use of this cycle seems to have soon spread to other paits of Greece, and it is the basis of the present ecclesiastical rule for fixing Easter The difficulty of ensuring satisfactory correspondence between the civil calendar and the actual motions of the sun and moon led to the...

Chinese Astronomy

Many aspects of Chinese astronomy, from ancient times to the later imperial dynasties, are equally distinctive. Some of the earliest Chinese records of astronomical events, for example, are found on divinatory devices known as oracle bones that date to the Shang and Zhou dynasties. These were animal bones or turtle shells heated with a hot needle until cracks appeared in their surface. The shape of the cracks provided prognostications used by kings to assist in affairs of state. Fortunately for modern scholars, the prognostication was recorded on the bone itself, together with the eventual outcome (tending to confirm that the prognostication was correct). Some oracle In the ensuing centuries and millennia of China's imperial era, the recording of occurrences in the skies became systematized. Yet in China, unlike (for example) in ancient Babylonia, a clear distinction was maintained between what we might see as scientific (astronomical) and divinatory (astrological) traditions. The...

Astronomy beckons

Robert Parker took his early education at local primary and secondary schools. It was in fourth grade that he says he first developed ''a determined desire'' to become an astronomer - long before there were any thoughts of a space programme. ''Astronauts were no more than a Flash Gordon movie then,'' he later reflected. His graduation from Shrewsbury's Beal High School took place on 16 June 1954. Parker then continued his combined studies in astronomy and physics at Amherst College, where he also did some laboratory teaching in his junior and senior years, and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Among his college honours and scholarships, he achieved the distinction of Magna Cum Laude when graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in astronomy and physics on 8 June 1958, joining his grandfather on the alumni roll.21 He received his Doctorate in astronomy from CalTech on 7 June 1963. His PhD dissertation, under the guidance of Professor Guido Munch, was entitled Physical Conditions in...

Ethnoastronomy

Paralleling the definition of archaeoastronomy, one can define ethnoas-tronomy as the study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky among modern peoples, and particularly among indigenous communities, and the uses to which people's knowledge of the skies are put. The term ethnoas-tronomy seems to have been coined in 1973, not long after the term ar-chaeoastronomy, first appearing in the title of a review article by Elizabeth C. Baity, Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy So Far, in the journal Current Anthropology. There is no clear dividing line between archaeoas-tronomy and ethnoastronomy, and many would prefer simply to combine the two fields under one heading, such as cultural astronomy. Selin, Helaine, ed. Astronomy across Cultures. Dordrecht, Neth. Kluwer, 2000.

Teaching Astronomy

During the 19th century, the astronomy of the solar system was taught by mechanical instruments such as this orrery. The complex gearing of the machine is operated by a crank handle, which ensures that each planet completes its solar orbit relative to the other planets. The planets are roughly to a scale of 50,000 miles (80,500 km) to 1 in (3 cm), except for the Sun, which would need to be 17 in (43 cm) in diameter for the model to be accurate.

The RoleofAstronomy

In Hannu Karttunen et al. (Eds.), Fundamental Astronomy, 5th Edition. pp. 3-9 (2007) DOI 11685739_1 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007 During the rapid development of seafaring, when voyages extended farther and farther from home ports, position determination presented a problem for which astronomy offered a practical solution. Solving these problems of navigation were the most important tasks of astronomy in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the first precise tables on the movements of the planets and on other celestial phenomena were published. The basis for these developments was the discovery of the laws governing the motions of the planets by Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galilei and Newton. Astronomical research has changed man's view of the world from geocentric, anthropocentric conceptions to the modern view of a vast universe where man and the Earth play an insignificant role. Astronomy has taught us the real scale of the nature surrounding us. Modern astronomy is...

Wartime Astronomy

The war interrupted and changed the lives of millions, and astronomers were no exception. The patriotic Edwin Hubble who had served in WWI was anxious to serve again. He finished a paper on nebular rotation in 1941, showing that spiral arms trail the more rapidly rotating nucleus. His paper appeared while he was designing bullets and bomb trajectories at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Fritz Zwicky turned from supernova studies to rocket development and interrogated Wernher von Braun at the end of the war. Walter Baade (see photo on page 101) was left with the 100-inch (2.5-m) telescope practically to himself. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mount Wilson was considered a target and made part of a military district. Baade then became a victim of his own procrastination. After arriving from Germany in 1931, he had filed for United States citizenship but lost the papers and never completed the process. So in December 1941, Baade was officially an enemy alien and therefore required to remain...

Early Astronomy

According to Pang (1987), pottery images of the Sun, Moon, and at least one constellation are known from the late Yang-shao and Dawenkou cultures dating from the period 4500-2300 b.c., and the desire to predict extraordinary floods in China, required some knowledge of astronomy. One of the two earliest recorded texts involving astronomy is found in the Canon of Yao, recorded in the Book of Documents, allegedly edited by Confucius. According to mythic tradition, Yao was one of the sage kings who ruled China prior to the first hereditary dynasty (the Xia or Hsia) noted in Table 10.1. Although the historicity of Yao is doubtful, this citation from Legge (1865 1960) indicates the study of the calendar as a credible motive for carrying out systematic astronomical observations Even if purely mythical, it is interesting that the myth should incorporate astronomers in it. Although practical concerns may have been at least part of the motivation behind early astronomy in China, other aspects...

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