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Transcript of Ancient Astronomy
Tools & Monuments
The Chinese had observatories for their astronomical research To locate astronomical events as well as various tools to help.
Influence & Beliefs
In ancient China, it
was believed that
events in the sky
events on earth.
If, for example, a comet suddenly appeared in the sky it was thought that something important and unexpected was about to happen on earth.
The emperor was also believed to be the Son of Heaven who had been given the Mandate, or right to rule, by Heaven itself.
Royal astronomers were too in a difficult position. If they failed to predict an event like an eclipse then the emperor’s power might appear diminished or in some circumstances they could be beheaded.
There are examples of pottery now held at the Beijing Ancient Observatory showing images of the sun, and intricately carved animal shells and bones depicting images of the stars as well as astronomical events such as star explosions which may date back as far as 1400 BC.
Mathematical calculations for future events
China's greatest ancient astronomers all utilized math to further their astronomical research in events such as the earliest solar eclipse.
Important astronomical discoveries
2137 BCE Chinese book recorded earliest known solar eclipse
Chinese determined that Jupiter needed 12 years to complete one revolution around its orbit
Chinese recorded the regularity of solar and lunar eclipses and earliest known solar variation
Chinese divided the sky into 28 regions for recognition of the stars
Chinese determined Spring Equinox
China has a
very long history,
with historians indicating that the Chinese were one of the most persistent and accurate observers of celestial phenomena in the world.
What geographical region is your ancient civilization located?
The Armillary Sphere
Designed for the coordination of celestial bodies.
The Celestial Globe
Designed for measuring the time and azimuth of the rising and setting of celestial bodies, as well as measuring altitudes and azimuths of celestial bodies at any time.
Ming Dynasty Gnomon Designed for determining the length of a tropical year and the 24 Solar Terms.
Designed for measuring the angular distance between stars as well as the angular diameter of the sun and the moon.
-History of Astronomy in China
-Ancient Chinese Astronomy
-The Chinese Sky
-Ancient Beijing Observatory