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Four amazing astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece

theconversation.com

Strange discovery from early history

In the Histories by Herodotus (484BC to 425BC), Herodotus recounts the story of Phoenician sailors who were dispatched by King Neco II ofEgypt (about 600BC), to sail clockwise around continental Africa, starting in the Red Sea.

The voyage took years. As they rounded the southern tip of...

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The earliest known heliocentric theory of the solar system came from Aristarchus of Samos (310BC to 230BC). He argued that the Sun was central. He also placed all the then known planets is their correct order of distance around the Sun. His original text was unfortunately lost to...

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In one of Aristarchus' books that did survive, he laid out the earliest known attempted calculations of the sizes and distances to the Sun and Moon.

From solar eclipses, where the Moon passes in front of the Sun, they realised that the Sun was further away. Aristarchus estimated that t...

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  • Eratosthenes (276BC to 195BC) relied on measuring the different lengths of shadows cast by poles stuck vertically into the ground, at midday on the summer solstice, at different latitudes. The difference in the shadows demonstrated how much the Earth's surface curved. Erato...

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The Antikythera Mechanism is the word's oldest surviving mechanical calculator. The device was discovered in an ancient shipwreck in 1900 and dates between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC.

When manually rotated by a handle, the gears span dials on the exterior showing the Moon's phase...

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