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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 30, 2004 5:17:54 GMT -6
I have always been facinated about the ancient knowledge of Astronomy and related fields. Without the use of telescopes, the astronomers of the day accurately, (mostly), plotted the movements of the heavens, predicted eclipses, and knew of a heliocentric solar system.
This first entry is relating to babylonian astronomy...
The Babylonian astronomers had been observing the skies for centuries and had recorded their observations in astronomical diaries, astronomical almanacs, catalogues of stars and other texts. We possess observations of Venus written down under king Ammisaduqa (1702-1682?), detailed stellar catalogues from the eighth century -our Zodiac was invented in Babylon-, and astronomical diaries from the seventh century until the first century BCE. Because there were many data available to Babylonian astronomers, their results could be pretty accurate. An example is the length of the so-called synodic month, i.e., the period between two full moons. The above-mentioned astronomer Nabû-rîmannu (c.490 BCE?) concluded that it lasted 29.530641 days. Kidinnu arrived at 29.530594 days, which is only 0.432 seconds more than the modern estimate of 29.530589 days. A similar result is the length of the solar year, which Kidinnu calculated with an error of only 4½ minutes. His accuracy was in fact greater than that of the astronomer Theodor von Oppolzer in 1887. (Kidinnu's results are known from Greek sources.)
Boy I just got done studing these Ancient Civilations. Is there any thing you wnt to know just ask away. I have plenty of notes and info on these guys. This was part of my Crtof Completion and the Diploma Class I am taking. No I am not saying I know everything there is but just recently I had to write a 1,500 word essay on them all. So will share my notes with you all.
[glow=blue,2,300]Stargazer's Departing Nightly on a beam of light searching for the Ultimate Wisdom of the Universe [/glow]