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Chinese astronomy of the Han period never reached a level of development comparable to its Babylonian and Hellenistic Greek counterparts. Han astronomers failed to detect the variable motion of the sun, used the assumption of a flat Earth to calculate the variation in the length of the Sun's shadow at different locations, and were unsuccessful in predicting solar eclipses. The later, more advanced development of Chinese astronomy, which reached its highest stage during the Yung Dynasty of the thirteenth century, was made possible by the rejection of the older numerology and was also aided to some extent by the absorption of ideas from Indian astronomy. Although it is currently unfashionable to compare Chinese scientific accomplishments to contemporary Western work, it is the case that a study of the Chinese case serves to highlight and bring into focus the remarkable innovations of Greek cosmology and predictive astronomy.

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