Early Astronomy

  • Hugh Thurston

Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (SSE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 1-44
  3. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 45-63
  4. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 64-81
  5. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 82-83
  6. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 84-109
  7. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 110-177
  8. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 178-189
  9. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 190-195
  10. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 196-204
  11. Hugh Thurston
    Pages 205-233
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 235-268

About this book


People must have watched the skies from time immemorial. Human beings have always shown intellectual curiosity in abundance, and before the invention of modern distractions people had more time-and more mental energy-to devote to stargazing than we have. Megaliths, Chinese oracle bones, Babylonian clay tablets, and Mayan glyphs all yield evi­ dence of early peoples' interest in the skies. To understand early astronomy we need to be familiar with various phenomena that could-and still can-be seen in the sky. For instance, it seems that some early people were interested in the points on the horizon where the moon rises or sets and marked the directions of these points with megaliths. These directions go through a complicated cycle-much more complicated than the cycle of the phases of the moon from new to full and back to new, and more complicated than the cycle of the rising and setting directions of the sun. Other peoples were interested in the irregular motions of the planets and in the way in which the times of rising of the various stars varied through the year, so we need to know about these phenomena, i. e. , about retrogression and about heliacal rising, to usc the technical terms. The book opens with an explanation of these matters. Early astronomers did more than just gaze in awe at the heavenly bodies; they tried to understand the complex details of their movements. By 300 H. C.


astronomy earth planet telescope

Authors and affiliations

  • Hugh Thurston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1994
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-387-94822-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-4322-9
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-6234
  • Buy this book on publisher's site