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02_Aug30[1] notes - Solar Eclipses Eclipses Total Solar...

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Scales of Time
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II. PREHISTORIC ASTRONOMY Astronomy is the oldest profession , universal to all cultures. Motivation is prediction, dating, navigation, harvest, plantings, births, deaths Astrology (an example of a pseudoscience): prediction and dating lead to confusion of cause and effect Ancient structures built with astronomically significant orientations
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Stonehenge
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Picture of Ancient Egyptian Cosmology
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Mayan Site of Edzna: 1 st Century
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Close-up of New Year Column
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Casa Grande Arizona c. 1350
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Eclipses – sun and moon very important in daily life of ancients -- Solar and lunar eclipses, partial and total, penumbra, umbra --Ancients could predict by observing cycles of repetition(Saros cycle = 18 yr 11d). Note this does not imply an understanding of the cause of the eclipse Let s look at causes of cycles and eclipses, and understand geometry of eclipses
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Phases of the Moon
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Lunar Eclipses
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Unformatted text preview: Solar Eclipses Eclipses Total Solar Eclipses, 2000-2020 • Celestial sphere : north celestial pole, star trails, zenith, meridian, celestial equator, RA and DEC • Note circle has 360 degrees because of Babylonians estimated 1 yr is about 360 days (this over 3000 years ago) • Ecliptic--- path of sun through stars • Planets – from the Greek for l wanderers z because these bright l stars z moved with respect to the rest (real stars) on timescales observable by the individual Celestial Sphere Poles and Equator Zenith & Poles Seasons • The Zodiac –planets move, but stay within about 18 degrees of the ecliptic. Root word is same as Greek for animals (zoo) • Constellations constructed for mnemonic aid • Solar vs. Sidereal day : 24 hrs vs 23 hr 56m • Heliacal risings : First day a star can be seen before sunrise The Wanderers How They Wander… Constellations of the ZODIAC...
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