Astronomy Through the Ages by Sir Robert Wilson

By Sir Robert Wilson

From an ancient point of view, this article provides a wholly non- mathematical advent to astronomy from the 1st endeavours of the ancients to the present advancements in examine enabled through leading edge technological advances. freed from arithmetic and complicated graphs, the e-book however explains deep options of house and time, of relativity and quantum mechanics, and of foundation and nature of the universe. It conveys not just the intrinsic fascination of the topic, but in addition the human facet and the medical approach as practised by way of Kepler, outlined and elucidated through Galileo, after which confirmed through Newton.

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Simple geometry meant that the distance from Syene to Alexandria was one 50th of the Earth’s circumference. This gave the circumference to be 40000 kilometres, a remarkably accurate result. distance. No parallax could be detected, leading him to conclude that the size of the Universe (at that time the distance to the fixed, bright stars) was so great that, as he said, if you drew a very large circle, the Earth’s orbit would only appear as a point. The non-detection of stellar parallax, as Aristarchus realized, was attributable to the great distance of the stars.

In Mohammed’s age, the other earlier monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity determined the times of their great festivals, such as the Passover and Easter, from the phases of the Moon, because they were dated from the early Jewish calendar, which was lunar-based. 33, which, not being a round number, required cumbersome adjustments to keep the seasons in step. This offended Mohammed, who decreed in the Koran that, in the sight of God who created everything, there were 12 months in a year.

The Hebrews were a nomadic people and were used to roaming through the extensive desert areas that were bordered by the “crescent of fertility”, the strip of agricultural abundance running up from the Nile, through Palestine into Syria and down into the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. In about 1700 BC, they reached Egypt, where they were held in semi-bondage for several centuries before their exodus, under Moses, around 1200 BC. Joshua, who succeeded Moses, led the Israelites across the Jordan and into the promised land, Canaan (present-day Palestine).

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