Brief history of astronomy
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Brief history of Astronomy. Most ancient civilizations observed the heavens and noticed patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid. These observations were sometimes used by the ancients for Astrology.

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Brief history of astronomy l.jpg

Brief history of Astronomy

Norm Herr (sample file)


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  • Most ancient civilizations observed the heavens and noticed patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.

  • These observations were sometimes used by the ancients for Astrology.

  • Can you think of any Irish evidence to show that ancient civilizations made observations of the movements of stars and planets?

these observations were sometimes used by the ancients for Astrology.

Norm Herr (sample file)


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Tomb at Newgrange patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.

  • The passage tomb was constructed in such a way that on the Winter solstice light from the rising Sun penetrates the main passage shining into the inner chamber for just 17 minutes in the year.

  • Researchers have also discovered evidence that Newgrange may have been designed in order to allow light from the Moon to enter the inner chamber approximately every nine years when the Moon’s path crosses the position that the Winter solstice Sun would occupy.

Norm Herr (sample file)


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Norm Herr (sample file) patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.


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Stonehenge patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.

  • Stonehenge in southern England is believed to be part of an astronomical device which was completed in 2000 B.C.

  • A section of its structure called the “avenue” points towards the location at which the Sun rises in the Summer solstice, and other sight lines created by the structure point towards the most northern and southerly risings of the Moon.

Norm Herr (sample file)


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Other Early Astronomers patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.

  • Early astronomy flourished in Central and South America too where temples were built by the Mayan and Aztec empires. These were often aligned with the rising of a solstice Sun or other significant positions, such as points where the planet Venus rose and set.

Norm Herr (sample file)


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Astrology patterns that were used for timekeeping and as a navigational aid.

  • Around 1200-1000 B.C., the Babylonians studied astrology – indeed they invented the 12 signs of the Zodiac that are still used today. Around the same time, the Greeks named most of the stars and constellations in the northern hemisphere (e.g. Hercules, Perseus, Cassiopea, Cygnus). They also named the "the wandering stars", which we now know to be planets. The Greeks named these after their gods, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.

Norm Herr (sample file)


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