Greek Astronomy

by J Johnson

What is astronomy?

Astronomy is the oldest of physical sciences. It is the study of celestial objects, such as the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and the entire physical universe together as a whole.

Where does greek astronomy take place?

Greek astronomy began in ancient Greece during the time period of 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. The Mesopotamians were very interested in astrology and then moving into astronomy.

When was astronomy invented?

Astronomy was first "invented", or the study was started, in the ancient world during the 13th century B.C. The Chinese came up with the first working calendar at this time. The knowledge was used mainly, in these early eras, for navigating and time-keeping. Astronomy later became the complex science that it is today by the research done mainly by Greek philosophers. The Greeks did not have telescopes, so their ability to decipher space was limited to their eyes and charting the movements of stars. It was a mathematical interpretation to them. The Greeks interpreted the universe as being centered around the earth, and all planets and the sun rotated around the earth. We now know this is not true.

Who made astronomy?

The famous Greek philosophers were the first Greek astronomers. They took ancient astrological planetary charts and applied mathematics. Their attempt was to help explain the regularities of the planets, moon, sun, and stars. Thales was a Greek philosopher/scientist who figured out the earth was round, and that other celestial bodies were as well. Aristarchus pushed it further, and proposed a "Sun-Centered" earth and planet rotation. His ideas were too early and were not accepted yet. Anaxagoras discovered what causes an actual eclipse. These great Greek minds help propel the concepts of astronomy forward.

Below, view the video. Scroll to 5 min and 15 sec. to hear about Greek astronomy.

What the Ancients Knew - Greece