1-14-2008 Lecture 5 (Chapter 3)

1-14-2008 Lecture 5 (Chapter 3) - -Venus was very...

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Chapter 3: The Science of Astronomy Scientific Thinking - It is a natural part of human behavior. - We draw conclusions based on our experiences. - Progress is made through “trial and error”. 3.2 The Ancient Roots of Science Ancient Astronomy Many cultures throughout the world practiced astronomy. They made careful observations of the sky. Over a period of time, they would notice the cyclic motions of: - Sun - Moon - Planets - Celestial sphere (stars) Stonehenge (complete 1550 BC) The famous structure in England was used as an observatory. Mayans (fl. AD 400 – 1200) - Lived in central America - Accurately predicted eclipses
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Unformatted text preview: -Venus was very important-Marked zenial passages-Mayan mathematics o Base 20 system o Invented the concept of zero Anasazi (ca. AD 1000)-Lived in “4 corners” area of SW USA-Built structures to mark solstices and equinoxes. Plains tribes of North America Star maps and sighting circles were drawn on the ground to mark solstice rising points of sun and helical rising points of stars. Purpose to do so:-To keep time-For agricultural purposes-For religious purposes As far as we can tell, none of these ancient cultures tried to build a physical model based on their observations. Instead, they created myths to explain the motions of the objects in the sky....
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