Ancient World Astronomy - Week 3 - ASTR 1345
Ancient World Astronomy - Week 3 - ASTR 1345 ASTR 1345-004
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sera on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASTR 1345-004 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by James J Davis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views.
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Date Created: 09/25/16
Note taker: Sera ASTR 1345 Ancient Astronomy Recording the Sky Mammoth tusk carving o Man on the front (might represent Orion) o Birth calendar on the back o ~38,000-year-old o Found in Germany’s Ach Valley Cave paintings o Lascaux, France o ~20,000-year-old cave paintings o May show familiar constellations and sky features o “Man, Bird & Bull” might have been an attempt to represent the Summer Triangle o Bull painting could represent Taurus Might also have the Pleiades, a bright cluster of young stars, on it Nebra Disk o Gold and bronze ornamental disk o ~1600 BC o Oldest unequivocal representation of the cosmos o Discovered in a burial mound in Germany o Shows the sun and moon, location of the sunrise/sunsets, and the Pleiades The Ancient World Egyptians o Pyramids and entrances facing the “Indestructible” star (Thuban), the resting place of the Pharaohs o Lay out of the pyramids resemble Orion’s belt o Used the stars to determine when the flooding of the Nile would occur for the beginning of farming season Babylonians o Used calendars based on the stars o Used constellations and the sky to predict the future Assyrians o Planned building times and orientations to particular stars Astrology Interpreting astronomical influence on human affairs and events Very popular in Ancient Greece Spread around by Arab Astrologers Not real science Constellations A group of stars visibly related to one another in the sky Note taker: Sera ASTR 1345 Pareidolia – Random stimulus perceived as something recognizable Most cultures had their own unique set of constellations Taxonomy – giving the things around us names Many constellations were based on mythological creatures specific to that culture Our current constellations are based on the mythology from the Golden Era of Greece Constellations were reminders of moral tales o Price of arrogance – Cassiopeia o Importance of family – Gemini The Sky Calendar Virgo – “the Virgin” o Spring constellation o Told ancient civilizations when to begin farming Orion – “the Hunter” o Autumn constellation o Told ancient civilizations when to begin harvesting their fields and storing food for winter Aristotle (384-322 BC) Philosopher (not a scientist) First Principles argument (“common sense”) The Aristotelian Universe o His theory about the mechanics of the world o It was wrong o Geocentric o Said that spheres were the most perfect shape o The planets, Sun, and moons are all contained within their own separate spheres o Earth was not flat because if it was then all shadows would be the same length in different places o Universe was not much larger than Earth o It could not predict the position of planets o He stated it was not meant to be a scientific model, more just tell “basic truths” Horrors of Ancient Astronomy Unpredictability – all of these things were bad omens to ancient civilizations o “Guest stars” – novae & supernovae o Comets o Eclipses
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