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• When did mankind first become interested in the science of astronomy? With the advent of modern computer technology (mid-20th century)

• With the development of the theory of relativity (early 20th century)

• With the invention of the telescope (~ A.D. 1600)

• During the times of the ancient greeks (~ 400 – 300 B.C.)

• In the stone and bronze ages (several thousand years B.C.)

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Already in the stone and bronze ages, human cultures realized the cyclic nature of motions in the sky.

Monuments dating back to ~ 3000 B.C. show alignments with astronomical significance.

Those monuments were probably used as calendars or even to predict eclipses.

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•Stonehenge Constructed 3000 – 1800 B.C. in Great Britain

• Alignments with locations of sunset, sunrise, moonset and moonrise at summer and winter solstices

• Probably used as calendar

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• Why is it so difficult to find out about the state of astronomical knowledge of bronze-age civilizations? Written documents from that time are in a language that we don’t understand.

• There are no written documents documents from that time.

• Different written documents about their astronomical knowledge often contradict each other.

• Due to the Earth’s precession, they had a completely different view of the sky than we have today.

• They didn’t have any astronomical knowledge at all.

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Models were based on unproven “first principles”, believed to be “obvious” and were not questioned:

1. Geocentric “Universe”: The Earth is at the Center of the “Universe”.

2. “Perfect Heavens”: The motions of all celestial bodies can be described by motions involving objects of “perfect” shape, i.e., spheres or circles.

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- Stonehenge
- Big Horn Medicine Wheel (Wyoming)
- Other Examples around the World
- Epicycles
- The Copernican Revolution
- Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630)
- Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion
- Eccentricities of Ellipses
- Kepler’s Third Law
- Velocity and Acceleration
- Newton’s Laws of Motion (II)
- Newton’s Laws of Motion (III)
- The Universal Law of Grav

- Buoyancy
- Thermal Energy
- Radiation Safety and Operations
- Understanding Heat Transfer, Conduction, Convection and Radiation
- Newton’s third law of motion
- Ch 9 Nuclear Radiation
- Newton’s Law of Gravity

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