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There was ancient Indian scholars who studied about different planets and stars. They have made different start constellation during their period. Also there is Jyothisha in India which was based on vedas which is also based on position of stars and planets. So answer to your question is from very old time you have not imagined, the vedic people knew where ...


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In 1718 Edmund Halley announced his discovery that the fixed stars actually have proper motion. (See Fixed Stars) The idea of fixed celestial spheres had a long history, with gradual changes and reinterpretation. The measurement of stellar parallax could be used to measure the Earth's orbit, but Halley (of Halley's Comet fame) showed that the stars move, ...


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Fairly soon after Copernicus, once things like comets and the like were discovered the concept of crystal spheres was pretty much gone. By the time star clusters were found and galaxies discovered you had to figure that these were more distant than local stars. Newton's Law is another blow to any such idea. The final proof would be when the stellar ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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It was Kepler who first computed the height of the atmosphere at between 40 and 50 miles based on the refraction of the light from the sun at twilight. A correlating study was also made by him on the magnitude of the shadow of the earth on the moon during a lunar eclipse. These computations were later elaborated by Philippe de la Hire, and were more or less ...


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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. ...


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I remember being told that the development of glass making was one of the key technological breakthroughs that enabled the Enlightenment in Europe. Originally used for making vessels and windows, it allowed optics such as telescopes, magnifiers, microscopes, etc to be made. Once these had been invented sciences such as astronomy, chemistry and biology could ...


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Ony theory I have read is (I believe Jared Diamond) that Europes diversity and fragmented nature spurred innovation, while the united China was much more controllable. To explain that: China produced more Iron, better ships etc. in the time of the early European (1600+) conquests, but when the empires bureaucracy feared the growing power of the merchants it ...


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First, you can put aside the "Well the Europeans were just cleverer", as even a cursory glance at world history will show inventions and developments from all societies at one time or another, from the Incan to the Chinese. What I think could likely be the main trouble the Chinese had with technology is that the scale of the Chinese nation was so large. In ...


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This is kind of an off-topic question because any answer will be a matter of opinion, but I guess I will take a stab at it. First of all, Indian mathematics was very advanced in some regards and we ended up borrowing elements of it (via the Arabs), such as the use of "Arabic" numerals, which are actually of Indian origin. Indian computation of planetary ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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.


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(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 ...



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