Importance Of Astronomy

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PREHISTORIC TO MIDDLE AGE ASTRONOMY Over the course of countless millennia, astronomy has served as a widespread source of curiosity amongst mankind. The stars, planets and various other objects that engulf our skies have captured the interests of this world’s inhabitants, from the simplest of tribesmen to city dwelling scholars and philosophers alike. As early as 32,000 years ago, humans are believed to have been tracking cosmic cycles like our Moon’s phases (Burnham, Dyer & Kanpipe 22). These observations led to globally recognized concepts in our civilization such as time, the use of calendars and the ability to predict seasonal changes. Before the massive leap in progress made during the 20th century, man’s accumulated knowledge of the …show more content…
While he did recognize many of Ptolemy’s principles, Copernicus had a radical revelation, claiming it was the Sun that sits in the middle of our solar system with Earth as an orbiting planet and the Moon serving as a satellite of Earth. This concept was first spread in his manuscript titled Commentariolus, or Little Commentary. It was further explained in depth with his ultimate synthesis On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, written the same year as his death in 1543 (Hoskin …show more content…
Brahe would go on to mentor an assistant named Johannes Kepler, who came up with the three laws of planetary motion. Theses laws would establish a concrete explanation behind the harmony amongst the stars. One of the most groundbreaking Copernican astronomers, Galileo Galilei was the first stargazer to observe the heavens with a telescope. This was a monumental happening – craters and rocky terrain on the surface of the Moon; the moons of Jupiter; spots on the surface of the sun; the phases of Venus. These findings were detailed in 1610’s The Starry Messenger, and amazed astronomers around the world. Unfortunately, the Church deemed Galileo’s discoveries to be conflicting with the Ptolemaic model and denied the reality of Jupiter’s satellites along with even refusing to look through a telescope (Burnham, Dyer & Kanpipe 39). In 1633 a Roman court found him to be guilty of teaching the Copernican philosophies, forcing him to condemn his theories. Galileo would go on to spend nearly the next decade on house arrest, until his death in

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