The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [archaeoastronomy]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Did knowledge of astronomy spread among Indo-European civilizations in antiquity?

Early civilizations of india, Greece, Babylon, China and Egypt have progressed in astronomy. Is there any shared knowledge among them and if any how can we find out?
3
votes
5answers
347 views

How did ancients differenciate between inner and outer planets?

It seems to me that ancients (greeks at least) knew that in their geocentric model Venus and Mercury were closer to them than the sun, and correctly differenciated inner (Mercury and Venus) from outer ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Did the Mayan's really predict the solar eclipse?

The Mayan's astronomical observations were outstanding given the tools they had, and investigations of the Dresden codex published by Harvey and Victoria Bricker in 1983 predicted the July 11th, 1991 ...
2
votes
2answers
646 views

How did Ptolemy calculate the distance to the moon

I've read that Hipparchus measured the distance to the Moon using the lunar and solar eclipse and obtained a value around 67.3 Earth radii. It also says that soon after Ptolemy gave a more accurate ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

When and why did the 'spiky star' appear as an image in art and science?

Telescope images of stars look like crosses, although they are point sources of light. Featureless dots. Diffraction along the vanes of the support structure that holds up their secondary mirror is ...
0
votes
0answers
68 views

What is the remarkable configuration of directions at 51° N?

A 2015 document from Stanford Solar Centre informs us that Stonehenge, The Goseck Circle and Majorville Medicine Wheel are on the same latitude (51° N.) with the Newgrange monument slightly to the ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Length of the year in Aztec/Maya calendar

In an old book of Prescott (died in 1859), The conquest of Mexico, the author described Aztec calendar with a year of 365 days. To compensate for the difference, every 52 years an additional 12.5 days ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

What role did meteors and comets play in early astronomy?

Apart from the location, brightness and color of the stars themselves, astronomy obviously originated from an interest in transient phenomena against the fixed but rotating star sky. The rise and set ...
7
votes
2answers
279 views

Did Archimedes know about Callipus?

Various sources, such as Cicero's Republic state that Archimedes had made a machine consisting of glass spheres that represented the Eudoxian system of the world. Considering that Callipus died over ...
4
votes
4answers
502 views

Why did the ancients believe celestial matter was of a different type than terrestrial matter?

Why did the ancients believe celestial matter is of a totally different type than terrestrial matter? From a footnote in Christopher A. Decaen's The Thomist 68 (2004): 375-429 article "Aristotle's ...
15
votes
2answers
7k views

Origin of 360 degrees?

This is by far one of the most challenging and popular HSM questions on the Net. Proofs are, countless discussions about it in math forums. The answers only led to two theories, which Wikipedia does a ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there an astronomical reason behind the order for the names of days of the week?

The seven days of the week seems to be commonly named after celestial bodies. What I find curious is that all seven days apparently share the same names in both West and East. Sunday is, of course, ...