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10 votes
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How did cartographers of past centuries determine latitude and longitude?

The concepts of latitude and longitude were introduced in antiquity, and our principal source for that period are the surviving books by Ptolemy (Geography and Almagest). These notions were understood ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
8 votes
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Was Captain Cook’s voyage to observe the transit of Venus going to enable better ship navigation at the time?

Cook's voyage had multiple purposes. One of them was observing the transit of Venus. Transit of Venus is a rare event, important for astronomy, but it has no direct bearing on navigation. Study of ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
3 votes

When and how was it discovered that the sun was in different positions depending upon longitude?

This is an immediate logical consequence of sphericity of the Earth. Greek tradition credits sphericity to Pythagoras, but modern historians even doubt that he ever existed. So the question has no ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
3 votes

How was longitude determined in the 1700s?

The extract you reproduced involves the observation of eclipses of one or more of Jupiter's satellites (the 'Galilean' or 'Medicean' satellites). This was in origin an invention and improvement of ...
terry-s's user avatar
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3 votes
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How was longitude determined in the 1700s?

On the units. He mixes time and angle units. In the first sentence the altitudes are in angular degrees, minutes and seconds. The main calculation in hours, minutes and seconds of time. Then he ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
2 votes
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Could 17th century astronomers in the Netherlands predict solar eclipses a few months in advance?

The short answer is yes. Under the following conditions: Let me state the problem more exactly: suppose that a solar eclipse of at least 40% WILL occur within a year from now. Could some person in the ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar

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