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chapter 3

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Course Code
Clifford Orwin

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!!!!The Science of Astronomy (chapter 3)
Scientic Thinking -based on observations and trial-and-error
-Modern measures of time come from ancient observation of motion in the sky
-Length of the day is the time it takes the sun to make one full circuit in the sky
-Length of a month comes from the moons cycle of phases
- Length of year comes from the seasons
-Ancient people could estimate the time from the position and phase of the Moon
-Positions of the stars can also indicate the tim, as long as u know the date
-Egyptians divided the daylight into 12 equal parts
A.M and P.M - Latin terms ante meridiem and post meridiem (before the middle of the
day and after the middle of the day)
The names of the seven days of the week are based on:
-the seven naked-eye objects that appear to move among the constellations
-daylight summer hours were longer (1/12 of the daylight lasts longer) than the daylight
winter hours
-star clocks to estimate time of night
-water clocks was the primary timekeeping instrument(greeks,romans,chinese) used to
measure TIME by the flow of water through an opening of a size
-stonehenge used for keeping track of seasons and as a social and religious gathering
-temple mayor(mexico) twin temples
***cities directions were north south east west representing miniature versions of the
basic lunar calendar- 12months with some lasting 29days and others 30days
-354/355 days (11days fewer than the sun calendar)
-Muslims use lunar calendar which is why Ramadan begins about 11days earlier with
the following year...example last year it start aug.20 so this year it will start aug.10
Metonic cycle- lunar phases repeat every 19years
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Archaeoastronomy (archaeology and astronomy)- study of ancient structures in the
search of astronomical connections
Big Horn Medicine Wheel- 28 spokes aligned with the rise and set of particular stars
---research indicated that it DID NOT take into account the motion of stars as they rise
above the horizon and the way the atmosphere affects the visibility of stars at the
latitude of Big Horn---
Peru- hundreds of lines were made to indicated where bright stars or the sun rise at
particular times of year
Polynesian Navigator- used knowledge of astronomy and knowledge of the patterns of
wave and swells around different islands
Ancient Mayans- invented the concept of 0
**Modern science emerge from the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and the
Middle East and ancient Greece**
Greek philosophers 3 major innovations that helped pave the way of science:
1) try to understand nature and not the supernatural by working communally to debate
and challenge each other"s ideas.
2) use mathematics for precision
3) power of reasoning for observation
scientic model- conceptual representation with the purpose to explain and predict
observed phenomena
Greeks explain Planetary motion
-assumed Earth is at the center of he universe (geocentric model)
-came up with the question “what is the universe”? (suggested world is understandable)
-guessed that the universe consists of water and the Earth is a flat disk floating in an
infinite ocean
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