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I would like to know if there was an approach of ancient astronomers to describe what happens during sunset in the following way: that the sun is going toward west during the day and in the end moving upward of the horizon and disappear(and then making all the way back to east above the sky and not under earth).

(Maybe they thought so because the upper western sky is red after sunset so they've tried to explain it by saying that the sun entered to the sky [didn't move under earth])

i'm aware that there was among many astronomers a conception of flat earth, but i'm particulary asking for that specific way of percieving sunset. who ever hold such an explanation of sunset??

who ever said such a thing in the history of astronomy? i mean greek astronomers BCE and also maybe astronomers in medival europe CE. thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ I do not see why would anyone say such a weird thing. Astronomers usually describe and explain what they SEE. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2016 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ (maybe they thought so because the upper western sky is red after sunset so they've tryed to explain it by saying that the sun enterd to the sky== meaning that it starts to getting higher and higher until dissappearing in the upper atmospher. otherwise why the sky's turning red if the body of the sun allready went under the ground?.... this is the reason why to assume such a thing) $\endgroup$
    – Ynk
    Mar 3, 2016 at 21:04

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When I was taught celestial navigation and the art of using a sextant at sea, we learned to take two sightings at sunset: first when the lower limb of the sun met the horizon, and the second for the upper limb.

Sometimes one or the other is obscured by clouds; taking both gives two chances at a measurement. But there is an additional advantage to sighting the lower limb of the sun: it is unambiguous when you see it, and it gives a very precise time. The upper limb is less clear, and is hard to anticipate at sunrise.

Thus there a practical reasons for choosing the lower limb of the sun for observational work.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's okay, but some references would be nice though. $\endgroup$
    – tox123
    Mar 14, 2016 at 1:25
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Such beliefs existed in various solar mythologies, see e.g. Sun Lore of All Ages, by William Tyler Olcott, [1914], (available at sacred-texts.com):

The Romans actually believed that the sun was the wheel of Apollo's chariot. Each morning the god rose from the eastern sea, and drove his four spirited steeds across the sky, and in the evening he descended into the western sea. At night, he reposed in a golden boat which was borne along the northern edge of the earth to the rising point in the east.

Whether anyone was trying to use astronomy to support these beliefs, i do not know.

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