14

We have Babylonian astronomical texts going back at least to 2000 BC. The history of Babylonian astronomy is thus very well documented. They divided the ecliptic into 360 degrees, and each degree into 60 minutes, etc. Why 360? It is true that the solar year is very approximately 360 days, though it could be noted that the Babylonians used a luni-solar year, ...


10

One theory says, `If you order the "planets" according to either their presumed distance from Earth (assuming the Earth to be the center of the universe) or their period of revolution around the Earth, you arrive at this order: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Now, assign (in reverse order) these planets to the hours of the day: ...


6

As Amit mentions, the naming probably originated from hellenistic astrology in Egypt, wherein each day would be associated with the influence of a particular celestial object. The origins are lost, but the writings of Roman historian Dion Cassius (AD 150-235) have survived; he describes the scheme as follows: The celestial objects were ordered according to ...


4

Ptolemy knew about Moon's parallax (he explains it in section 11, Ch. V of Mathematical Syntaxis). To measure it he invented the "parallactic instrument" described in section 12. Section 13 is dedicated to determination of Moon's distance, where he explains his observation in great detail. Roughly speaking he computes Moon's geocentric position in the sky ...


4

There is no definite answer on this question. About the Archimedes machine we only know a very imprecise description from the authors who did not understand much about this machine, or about science in general. What Archimedes knew and what he did not we cannot tell for sure. Probably he knew about Callipus. Probably he visited Alexandria. Alexandria at that ...


3

One argument is that terrestrial objects are made up of the four elements earth, water, air, fire, and out of these the first two are "heavy" elements whose natural motion is rectilinear motion toward the center of the universe, while the latter two are "light" elements whose natural motion is rectilinear motion upwards. The natural motion of the heavenly ...


3

The choice of planets probably reflects their higher visibility. Nice catch, but it's not perfect. I checked the Wikipedia pages for Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn, and found that they're not in that order for apparent magnitude. You've also probably heard (or perhaps even observed for yourself) how bright Venus is - there's no reason for it to be that far ...


3

None. Ancient Greeks subdivided the world into and the superlunar the sublunar spheres, the heavens and the Earth. The former a place of perfection and order, the latter, not so much. Since meteors and comets did not display the reliable regularity of the fixed stars, or even of the "wandering" planets they clearly did not belong to the heavens. Greeks ...


2

According to Sedley's Epicurus and the mathematicians of Cyzicus, "Archimedes's celebrated planetarium was said to reproduce all the planetary motions simultaneously, but whether it followed a system of concentric spheres or that of eccentrics or epicycles is unknown. Our text... suggests that comparable, though undoubtedly much simpler, mechanisms existed a ...


2

The standard literature on the Mayan calendar is: J. Eric S. Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, Washington : Carnegie Institution, 1950. Lis Brack-Bernsen, 'Die Basler Mayatafeln', Verhandlungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Basel, Vol.86 (1977), 1-76. Floyd G. Lounsbury, 'Maya numeration, computation, and calendrical astronomy', Dictionary of ...


2

It's difficult for us who have learned that the laws of physics are constant for all time and space to put ourselves in the minds of "the ancients". But all the reading I've done in this area, of the classical Greeks and the early, middle and late Middle Ages, indicates that they had absolutely no reason to believe that the sky had the same laws as the Earth....


2

A useful source on this subject is Olaf Pedersen's Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction, (first published 1974, CUP reprint 1993). Much is shrouded in the mists of pre-history, but the question appears to suppose that any model would take it that planets are actual bodies at different distances. The sources that do exist show that this ...


2

Yes, they really predicted the 1991 solar eclipse. I suggest that you read Classic Maya Prediction of Solar Eclipses, by Harvey M. Bricker and Victoria R. Bricker, together with comments and replies (Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 1983), pp. 1–23).


1

Much of the ancient transmission went through Greece. Astronomical (and other) knowledge was transmitted from Egypt to Greece at least by the time of early Pythagoreans (c. 500 BC), likely earlier. According to some sources, Pythagoras and Democritus visited Egypt personally to study with the priests. There might have been some early transmission from ...


1

Of course everything orbits around the earth. Lumenlearning Some planets (the inner planets) sometimes pass between the sun and the earth, meaning their orbints are inside the orbit of the sun. Other planets (the outer planets) never pass between the sun and the earth.


1

This is an immediate conclusion from direct observation of the sky. Mercury and Venus accompany the Sun: are never far away from the Sun. Outer planets behave very differently: they can be at any angular distance from the Sun. By the way, the choice between geocentric and heliocentric system has nothing to do with the phenomenon: what we see in the sky can ...


1

Here are some Roman Denari. Moon and stars. Looks like points on the stars.


1

From my studies on the Western, Chinese and Meso-American cultures(still working on ancient India) from the classical eras up to early Renaissance, the ancient deduced that heavenly bodies were made of different materials than that of the earth because the observers qualities and behaviors of heavenly objects differed radically from the observed qualities ...


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