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Astronmy - Essay Example

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Man has always wondered what is beyond the skies, or if we are alone in this universe. Ancient civilizations, with their keen observation and speculation, has provided the modern world with the foundations of…
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Download file to see previous pages Knowledge on astronomy is also used in navigation, planting strategies, and explaining the origin of earth and its nature. The Greeks incorporated astronomy into their beliefs, mythology, religion and superstitions (Heath, 1991).
One of the earliest writings on astronomy is Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, also known as the oldest-manual of astronomy. It provided information on constellations, stars, eclipses, and meteor showers. It also described how ancient people used stars in traveling both land and sea. Iliad also includes the idea that Earth is flat surfaced, an idea which is widely accepted then (Wood, 1999). It was also said that Thales, one of the Seven Sages or the Seven Wise Men of Greece, was able to predict an approximate time of an eclipse and devised a navigating system using the constellation Ursa Minor (Dreyer, 1953).
Ancient Greeks used astronomy as a tool that can aid them in their everyday lives. An example of this is Solon’s calendar. The calendar, which is based mainly from his observation of the moon, which lead to the discovery and understanding of seasons provided the Greeks knowledge with better planting schemes and became vital for good food production (Ehrenberg, 1973). Aside from calendars, Greeks were also introduced to sundials by Anaximader of Miletus around 560 B.C. Although sundials are said to be originally discovered by the Babylonians, the Greeks were able to develop and make various forms of sundials (Aveni, 1989).
Many people see the hands of God in studying the heavenly bodies, and the Greeks used astronomy as a means to see, understand and commune with God. As a result, astronomy and religion are closely related in Greek civilization. Names of planets are derived from Greek mythology, which is a great part of their religion (Heath, 1991).
Several speculations were made by early Greek philosophers. One of them is Pythagoras, who provided the idea that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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