How could ancient people know astronomy & astrology?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Saint, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    They did not have telescope, how can they see the stars and planets with naked eyes?
     
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Go somewhere away from all the modern day light pollution. Your question will be answered...
     
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  5. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    Go out on a clear night(and away from city lights), do you not see stars? You can also see the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn without a telescope at the right times with the unaided eye. (ancient people likely had an easier time of it, as there wasn't all the light pollution we have today.
    The very word "planet" was coined back then. It meant "wanderer", because these objects showed movement relative to the stars. In those times, the Sun was considered one of seven planets. While all of them except the Sun and Moon only appeared as star-like points of light, they could still note that they shifted position relative to the rest of the stars. They may not have known the true nature of these objects, but they were able to track their motion across the sky.
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    They were smarter than modern people give them credit for.
    Perhaps they were smarter than modern people.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Can you see any stars or planets with your naked eyes? If you can, so could they. Also, they had the added benefit of not living in large cities with bright artificial lights shining out all night.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    And some of them paid attention, observed carefully, noted down what happened in what order and intervals, in what relation to other events, made comparisons, drew inferences, hypothesized, tested their hypotheses... you know - science.
     
  10. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    I can only see very bright stars.
    But I never know whether i can see saturn, jupiter?
    how to recognize them? Saturn and Jupiter do not emit light.
     
  11. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry your eyes are so bad.
    It is easy to find out, go to the site 'heavens above'.
    They reflect sunlight like the moon. The ancients had no idea that Jupiter and Saturn were planets, they only new they were special because they changed position over time against the the background of fixed stars.
     
  12. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    If you have a smart phone, there is an app you can get that, if you hold it up to the sky, will tell you what's in that part of the sky.
    Otherwise, If you can find the constellation Orion:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)#/media/File:Orion_IAU.svg
    Below, to the left is Canis Major (Sirius), which is the brightest star in the sky. If you see something like a star, but is brighter, then it is a planet, all the planets minus Saturn, when at their brightest will be brighter than Sirius ( Saturn at its brightest would still be brighter than all but the three brightest stars.)
    While stars give emit a lot of light, they are so far away, that the light reflected by the much nearer planets makes them appear brighter to our eyes.
    If you go out tonight, just a bit past sunset, and have a clear sky, there will be what appears to be a very bright star in the SW sky. That is Venus.
     
  13. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

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    • Please do not post pseudoscience to our Science subforums.
    Ancient people had space ships and could visit the stars.

    They also had brain rays which could turn neanderthals into more intelligent beings.

    Something we lack today.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    With the naked eye, a couple of thousand stars or so should be visible, assuming you're viewing in an area of low light pollution.

    Saturn and Jupiter are bright in the sky when they are visible. They reflect sunlight in the same way that Venus, Mars and the Moon reflect light.
     
  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    can we see other galaxies with eyes?
     
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sure can...LMC, SMC, M31
    We are though not able to discertain individual stars outside this galaxy with just our eyes.
     
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    how could ancient people see Pluto which is so far away?
     
  18. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    What leads you to believe that ancient people could see Pluto?

    Percival Lowell predicted the presence of a 9th planet in 1915 .

    Clyde Tombaugh then found photographic evidence of that 9th planet in 1930.

    That planet was then given the name "Pluto".

    So, if those ancient people did not have access to telescopes or cameras then...
     
  19. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    Did I list Pluto as one of the planets known to ancient people? Nor did I mention Uranus or Neptune, as both of these also had to wait for the invention of the telescope to be discovered.
     
  20. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes and no. M31 or Andromeda, for instance, is naked eye visible as a small "fuzzy" patch of light. However, it is only the brightest part of the galaxy that we are seeing. The majority of the galaxy is too dim. If we could see the whole galaxy, it would appear to be several times wider than a full Moon. Something like this:

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    As it is, it's only that bright dot in the center that our unaided eyes can make out.
     

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