A Concise History of Astronomy by Peter Doig

By Peter Doig

The aim of this quantity is to supply in a concise demeanour yet as comprehensively as attainable an updated account of price to the final reader looking an information of the advance of the technological know-how of astronomy, to be able to even be a convenient reference e-book beneficial to scholars as a list of the most occasions and of the executive paintings of person astronomers.

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MEDIEVAL ASTRONOMY several centuries following the period of the break-up of the Roman Empire (about 375-500) there was no progress in Astronomy in Europe. Indeed the \tvritings of the early Christian Fathers tended to the con~plete obscuration of any real scientific vievvs previously held. 1'hese writers did not all go equally far in their condemnation of the Greek Astronorny but none of them suggested any alternative systern in detail as a substitute. About 540, however, an Egyptian tnonk and traveller Cosmas Indicopleustes published a \vork, "'l'he Christian Topography of Cosn1as," criticizing the (~reek systerl1s and presenting an elaborate alternative based on the design of the Jewish Tabernacle, and full of absurdities to a nloclern intelligence.

8 CHAPTER III GIle.

It may be noted, however, that according to ]. 1(. C. The appearance of a comet (see p. C. in the constellation Scorpio is believed to have led to the formation by Hipparchus of a catalogue of 1080 stars, GREECE 35 gIvIng the celestial latitude and longitude of each star and classifying them according to brightness into six magnitudes. pilation of this catalogue. ). Hipparchus measured the Obliquity of the Ecliptic, arriving at the saIne result as Eratosthenes. An important discovery made by comparison of his own 0 bserva tions ,vi th those of Aristarchus vvas that the Tropical Year or time enclosed by tvvo successive passages of the Sun through the Spring Equinox, 365!

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