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Development of Astronomy

  • Date Submitted: 08/12/2010 05:42 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.8 
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Astronomy through the years
Astronomy has been a very important source of knowledge for us. And as time passes, our knowledge about the outer space and the instruments that we use to observe it are improving. We have been able to observe and take pictures of stars, planets, and even galaxies that are billions of light years away from us. What is astronomy anyway? Who invented instruments such as telescopes that we use to observe space? How long have we been using astronomy?
During the ancient times, people use the stars as basis for their livelihood. They use it to make predictions and know the dates when to plant or do their religious rituals. Ancient people were also able to use the heavenly bodies to foretell the future which we call today as astrology. One proof of this is the Stonehenge. Stonehenge has many huge stones arranged in a pattern. It is believed that ancient people used the Stonehenge to predict eclipses and other phenomena in the heavens.
After the fall of Rome, European astronomy was forgotten until the Muslims and Hindus were able to carry out the significant work. Then the Greeks came in. Though the Greeks were known for their contributions for astronomy, their works would never have reached medieval Europe if it were not for the Arabs. The Arabs were the ones who translated Greek astronomy and brought them to Europe. One of the most significant events on the revival of learning in Europe was the publication of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium or On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres by Nicolas Copernicus. According to Nicolas Copernicus’ model of the universe, the Earth rotates in its axis together with all the planets that revolve around the Sun. He just retained the uniform circular motion of Ptolemy’s model but he was able to reduce the number of epicycles just by placing the Sun at the center. The primary claim for his new system was that calculations were easier through it. He also determined the time for revolution of the...

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