Astronomy 1021 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Nicolaus Copernicus, Machu Picchu, Celestial Navigation

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Astronomy is an observational science: we cannot perform experiments on stars, we can only study what we see by recognizing patterns and understand those observations. Ancient cultures were curious about patterns in the world around them, recorded what they observed. Thousands of years b. c. , central africa: predicted seasons by watching the crescent moon, position of ecliptic in the sky changes with seasons. Civilizations that can keep track of time and seasons had an advantage. Purposes reflected in many archaeological remains of different civilizations: structures or buildings that are built with special orientation with respect to the sun, the equinoxes, etc. Our 24 hours clock comes from the egyptians, who divided the night in 12 intervals according to the rising of bright stars. Even the names of the days of the week come from ancient astronomy. Scotland: 4,000-year-old stone circle; moon rises as shown here every 18. 6 years. Peru: lines and patterns, some aligned with stars.

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