Category Archives: Historical

Blog 2— Historical Context: the Ptolemaic Model

The Ptolemaic Model stood as the most accurate way to predict the movement of planets for 1,500 years, even though it was a geocentric model. This obviously serious error in the model caused there to be small inaccuracies in the predictive abilities of the model, but it was the best incorrect model created, so it […] Continue reading

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Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion

After meticulously calculating the data that Tycho Brahe collected, Kepler discovered three different laws that described how planets move. Kepler’s First Law – The planets orbit in ellipses, not circles nor epicycles. For majority of history, it was thought that planets orbit through epicycles because the orbit of the planets must be perfect. However, the […] Continue reading

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The Banner of Heaven

This term, originally coined in the late nineteenth century, at least with its current connotation, began to speak to me in a unique way in high school. I took a backpacking trip in Northern California, and experienced a dry, warm, cloudless night with no shelter but a mosquito net. The sky was brilliant, and it felt like […] Continue reading

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Gravity

What is Gravity? Gravity is the physical attraction of masses. The idea that all masses attract each other. Why Does Gravity Happen? Gravity happens due to curvature in spacetime, it bends and warps space and that space causes an attraction between the objects. Facts About Gravity Video On Gravity A January Wolf Moon Continue reading

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Retrograde Motion

Retrograde motion is a fascinating celestial phenomenon that has puzzled astronomers and stargazers for thousands of years. Imagine you were stargazing across multiple nights and traced the planets as they danced across the sky, but suddenly, one of the planets stops, reverses direction, and then after a while, resumes its original motion with the stars. […] Continue reading

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Ancient Structures

Many people have heard about Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous monuments. But did you know that the circle of stones was actually an astronomical device? Archeoastronomists have debated what the original purpose of Stonehenge was, but many believe that it was used to mark solar and lunar alignments, including eclipses, solstices, and equinoxes. […] Continue reading

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Justin's Blog 2024-02-12 17:22:51

History of Astronomy in Korea! Hey everyone ! Do you guys remember when we were learning about historical astronomical sites in class? I remember one of the sites catching my eye because it looked incredibly familiar. It was the one in Korea called Cheonseongdae in Gyeongju, South Korea. I once visited this while on a […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Nicolaus Copernicus – 2/19/1473 – 5/24/1543 Nicolaus Copernicus the first in the modern era (C.E) to develop a model of the universe with the sun at its center, rather than the earth. His work sparked the Copernican Revolution, a paradigm shift which paved the way for the works of Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and others. Copernicus […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

I chose the astronomer Johannes Kepler who was born on December 27th, 1571 in Germany and died on November 15th, 1630 (age 58) in Germany. In the timeframe that Kepler was alive, Shakespeare died, the thirty-year war began, and the protestants began their revolt against the Catholics. Overall this assignment helped me realize more of […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was important to astronomy because he discovered that orbits are not perfectly circular, but move in ellipses. He is credited with three laws that are still heavily used in the study of astronomy. Kepler’s first law is: “The orbit of each planet about the sun is an ellipse with the sun at […] Continue reading

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