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19

Anaxagoras (500 BCE–428 BCE): Anaxagoras brought philosophy and the spirit of scientific inquiry from Ionia to Athens. His observations of the celestial bodies and the fall of meteorites led him to form new theories of the universal order. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a mass ...


18

(This is an incomplete answer since I don't know which eclipse specifically was predicted, nor how it compares to the rest of the world. But it is s too long for a comment.) Because of their cultural association of governmental legitimacy with astronomical / geophysical omens, ancient China was rather obsessed with predicting eclipses. Attempts to do so ...


9

Well, the USSR did not conceal the event from the public. The official position can be described as follows: The landing once more time confirms the materialistic worldview. The landing shows the extent which a human can reach with labor and technological progress, it shows that people can not only visit but also work on the other space bodies. The ...


8

The original astronomic concepts were that planets, stars, and the sun were small, close light sources. Being in heaven, they were perfect (aside from the moon, which was smudged due to closeness to this imperfect sphere). They were embedded in clear solid domes at varying distances. But in general, the idea that the heavens were made for us on Earth to ...


6

According to the main authoritiy on ancient astronomy and astrology, Otto Neugebauer, astrology was introduced to Hellenistic world from Babylon. (If you not know who he is, look at this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Neugebauer). Here is what he writes on Egypt in general: Egypt provides us with the exceptional case of a highly ...


6

The solstice was determined by observing the shade of the gnomon (a vertical stick on a level ground). Indeed, this is difficult to observe with a good precision. However, if you do this for many years, you obtain a better and better result. For example, suppose that your error is E, and you observe for N years. This gives you the length of the year (the ...


6

TL; DR: Landing on the moon was covered in the Soviet press, and was well known in the Soviet Union. It received much less attention than Soviet space missions, though. Just to add something factual to previous answers. NASA on U.S.S.R. reaction NASA's Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1969 (15 MB PDF file) contains some useful information on press coverage ...


5

Contrary to assertions above, the correct computation of the size of the atmosphere predates Kepler by five centuries. It is sometimes claimed that this computation was was performed (with a correct answer) by Al Hazen in Mizan al-Hikmah (Balance of Wisdom) around the turn of the Millenium but I could not find reputable sources for this claim. In fact, the ...


4

Wikipedia has an informative article on the Saros cycle, which is used to predict eclipses. According to that page, and by extension apparently the pages to which it references, the Babylonians were recording the eclipses which describe the cycle in the sixth century BC. Apparently Hipparchus (second century BC), Pliny (first century AD) and Ptolemy (second ...


3

The general term in Ptolemaic astronomy is kyklos (cycle), which encompasses the epikyklos, the ekkentros kyklos etc.


3

From a NASA answer: Ptolemy ( ca 150 BC)[sic] represents the epitome of Greecian astronomy, and surviving records show that he had a sophisticated scheme for predicting both lunar and solar eclipses. Ptolemy knew, for example, the details of the orbit of the Moon including its nodal points, and that the Sun must be within 20d 41' of the Node point, and ...


2

This detailed article argues for the authenticity of Herodotus' report about Thales ecplise prediction in 585 BC. This is in any case a lot earlier than the Chinese material cited by Semaphore.


2

From THIS It is a simple, seemingly obvious notion: air has weight; the atmosphere presses down on us with a real force. However, humans don’t feel that weight. You aren’t aware of it because it has always been part of your world. The same was true for early scientists, who never thought to consider the weight of air and atmosphere. ...


1

This goes back a lot earlier than Torricelli or Kepler. Aristotle taught that the tangible world is formed from the four sub-lunar elements: earth, water, air, fire. These occupy the space between the centre of the cosmos (that is: the centre of the earth) and the sphere of the moon. The heavenly bodies are made of the fifth element: aether. Thus, there is ...


1

I am going to second dotancohen's answer somewhat. Hipparchus developed a comprehensive astronomy that accurately predicted eclipses and other astronomical events. Ptolemy's writings emanate from the tradition that was established by Hipparchus. Nevertheless, Hipparchus was certainly not the beginning of Greek astronomy. He simply formalized and improved ...


1

Propaganda It was indeed reported, but as a non-event, buried in the middle of the newspaper. One had to pay close attention to learn about it and realize the importance of the event. Just like in this joke: Napoleon is reading "Pravda", while, say, Ney is watching the TV report from the November 7th military parade in Moscow. Ney: "Look, Your Majesty - ...



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