a135-HW5 - For example the Declination of the sun on the...

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Astronomy 135: Archaeoastronomy Problem Set 5 Due at the beginning of class, February 28 Reading assignment: Krupp, Ch. 3, “The Gods We Worship” Britton and Walker, “Astronomy and Astrology in Mesopotamia” (posted on classesv2.yale.edu) 1) Try Aveni’s exercise on Stonehenge alignments: Appendix A, Ch. 3, Problem 1, on page 196. Show your work and explain your answers. 2) a) What aspects of modern Western astronomy have we inherited from ancient Mesopotamian astronomy? b) What was the motivation for Babylonian astronomers to keep accurate records of astronomical (and meteorological) events? 3) Ancient Babylonian astronomers used a linear “zigzag” function to interpolate the values of some astronomical cycles between the minima and maxima of those cycles as well as to find the mean period of the cycles. Linear interpolation is a very useful tool still used by scientists today to estimate functions.
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Unformatted text preview: For example, the Declination of the sun on the winter solstice, December 21, is –23.5°, and the Declination of the sun on March 21 is 0°. Use this information to estimate the Declination of the sun on March 1. Show your work and explain your answer. 4) Summarize the astronomical reasons that many cultures labeled Jupiter as the “king” planet. 5) Both Mercury and Venus are always close to the sun in the sky, so that you can only see them sometimes in the west right after sunset or sometimes in the morning before sunrise. Use Stellarium to figure out when will be the next maximum eastern elongations of both Venus and Mercury (these, of course, will be two different days) as seen from New Haven. (Max. eastern elongation happens when the planet is as far east of the sun on the Celestial Sphere as possible, when the planet is visible in the west at sunset.)...
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