chapter 3 - Chapter 3 The Science of Astronomy 3.1 The...

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Chapter 3 The Science of Astronomy
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3.1 The Ancient Roots of Science In what ways do all humans employ scientific thinking? How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Our goals for learning:
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In what ways do all humans employ scientific thinking? Scientific thinking is based on everyday ideas of observation and trial-and-error experiments.
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How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? Keeping track of time and seasons for practical purposes, including agriculture for religious and ceremonial purposes Aid to navigation
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Ancient people of central Africa (6500 BC) could predict seasons from the orientation of the crescent moon
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Days of week were named for Sun, Moon, and visible planets
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What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Daily timekeeping Tracking the seasons and calendar Monitoring lunar cycles Monitoring planets and stars Predicting eclipses And more…
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Egyptian obelisk: Shadows tell time of day.
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England: Stonehenge (completed around 1550 B.C.)
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England: Stonehenge (1550 B.C.)
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Mexico: model of the Templo Mayor
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New Mexico: Anasazi kiva aligned north-south
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SW United States: “Sun Dagger” marks summer solstice
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Scotland: 4,000-year-old stone circle; Moon rises as shown here every 18.6 years.
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Peru: Lines and patterns, some aligned with stars.
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Macchu Pichu, Peru: Structures aligned with solstices.
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South Pacific: Polynesians were very skilled in art of celestial navigation
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France: Cave paintings from 18,000 B.C. may suggest knowledge of lunar phases (29 dots)  
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China: Earliest known records of supernova explosions (1400 B.C.) Bone or tortoise shell inscription from the 14th century BC. "On the Xinwei day the new star dwindled." "On the Jisi day, the 7th day of the month, a big new star appeared in the company of the Ho star."
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What have we learned? In what ways do all humans employ scientific thinking? Scientific thinking involves the same type of trial and error thinking that we use in our everyday live, but in a carefully organized way. How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? Keeping track of time and seasons; navigation
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