By L. Motz, J. Weaver
Hint the improvement of astronomy from early Greek stargazers to the bold pioneers: Brahe, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton - who braved persecution and mock to struggle for a technological know-how that relied now not on old specialists and scriptures, yet on common sense, math, and cautious statement. As Motz and Weaver convey, the culmination of this noble pursuit - the dependent, basic ordinary legislation - opened our eyes to the elusive rotations of the heavenly our bodies, and gave upward push to classical physics, and, eventually, the lively, thriving technology of astronomy at the present time. those enticing authors cross directly to depict the intense revolution in astronomy that shattered classical physics and reworked our strategies of time, house, and subject. starting with Einstein's concept of relativity, Motz and Weaver rejoice and appreciate the 20 th century's maximum advances in physics, chemistry, and arithmetic, each one of that have dramatically reshaped sleek astronomy.
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Additional info for The Story of Astronomy
The magnitude scale is a reverse order arithmetic scale, with large magnitudes assigned to faint stars and small magnitudes assigned to bright stars. Hipparchus is renowned not only for his star catalogue and his discovery of the precession of the equinoxes, but also for his investigations into the orbits of the planets, his attempt to determine the sizes of the sun and moon, and his contributions to mathematics. In Ms study of planetary motions he was most concerned about the irregularity in their motions and their retrograde motions.
This led to the beginning of observational astronomy which culminated in the work of the Greek Alexandrian astronomers at the beginning of the Christian era. Of all the early Greek philosopher-astronomers, Pythagoras was probably the most influential in turning the attentions of astronomers to the importance and usefulness of mathematics in constructing cosmological models that could be compared more or less accurately with the observed motions of the celestial bodies. Pythagoras founded a school of philosophy whose main concern 24 CHAPTER 3 was to interpret all natural phenomena in terms of numbers.
2422 days. Our calendar follows the tropical year because the calendar must keep in step with the seasons. The explanation of the difference in length between the sidereal and tropical year, which Hipparchus discovered, is that the equinoxes are not fixed points on the ecliptic but move westward along the ecliptic by a small amount each year, moving all the way around the ecliptic once every 26,000 years. This is called the precession of the equinoxes, which may have been known to the ancient Egyptians and, probably, to the ancient Babylonians.