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25
votes
5answers
2k views

What was the first Solar Eclipse that was demonstrably predicted in advance?

There is a famous story going back to Herodotus according to which Thales of Miletus predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC, which interrupted a battle. Given that we have not a single ...
13
votes
3answers
551 views

What was the internal Soviet reaction to the moon landing?

The Soviet Union was a famously restrictive place when it came to news and ideological spin, and obviously their attitude toward the United States was less than supportive and warm. The Space Race ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Who discovered first that the Moon does not have its own light?

Who (and when) discovered first that the Moon does not have its own light?
8
votes
1answer
130 views

A world in the moon?

In the 1600s, the nature of the moon was a matter of debate. Papers arguing for the modern concept of the moon were being printed, such as The Discovery of a World in the Moone, 1638. The phrase a ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

How could ancient people determine the winter solstice was occurring?

How could astronomers in the ancient world determine that the winter solstice was occurring? According to whoever edited the Wikipedia article on the winter solstice, it's too hard for modern ...
5
votes
4answers
139 views

When did scientists first postulate that Earth's atmosphere might have an upper limit?

In plenty of myths and stories from ancient (and not-so-ancient) history, people are able to fly or climb all the way up to the "dome of the sky," breathing all the way. But even once science had ...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

Did Ancient Egyptians in the 2nd millennium BC practice Astrology?

I'm aware that Ancient Egyptians did chart stars and have a relatively robust understanding of astronomy for the time. However, did they (say, in the 2nd millenium BC) practice astrology, such that ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there a general term for epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics in Ptolemaic astronomy? [closed]

According to Ptolemy's (c. 150 CE) account of the motions of planets, planets moved in circular paths ("epicycles") around center points that in turn moved around the center of the earth along a path ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

How come Week days in India match with Western system? [closed]

How come Week days in India synchronize with the week days in Western countries? When did this happen?
1
vote
0answers
176 views

Why is our planet called Earth? [closed]

How did the Earth get its name? The answer on Wikipedia is a bit short and unhelpful. I was not just referring to its English name - in the few languages I know it translates to basically the same ...