Presentation on theme: "Space the Beginning Geology 2012. What did we know about the universe and when did we know it? When you consider how old the universe is- a figure that."— Presentation transcript:
What did we know about the universe and when did we know it? When you consider how old the universe is- a figure that ranges from 13-20 billion years. The human attempts to study the universe, and try to gauge it age and size, are in the State of infancy. As a true science, astronomy started about 2500 years ago. When you consider that telescopes have only been around for about 500 years study of astronomy is in its infancy. For many years people have been trying to figure out the heavens using math and a few crude hand tools. Humans have studied the skies and fitting in what they saw into some explanations for all the mysteries of life and the universe. An example of this is an ancient Japanese legend, the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, the gentle source of all life, ruled the Plain of Heaven. The God of Storms was Susano, a spirit whose name meant Swift, Impetuous Male. Well Susano wanted Amaterasu and his advances on the sun goddess was rude and violent. One day he broke her rice field boundary and desecrated her temple with animal excrement. He killed and skinned a horse, threw the corpse in the hall where Amaterasu’s hand maidens wove garments for their beloved Goddess.
Angry at Susano’s violent behavior, the sun goddess withdrew to her cave in the sky. Her Departure brought darkness, death and chaos to the world. Demons spread doom and evil. The eight million spirits believed the universe would crumble without her golden light. In an attempt to coax Amaterasu from her cave, a wise old god instructed another younger female goddess to perform a dance. As she danced, the young flexible goddess began to loosen her kimono to the delight of all the assembled spirits. The shouts of laughter and delight from the spirits attending caused the sun goddess to peek outside and see what was happening. Once she appeared, the spirits quickly closed off Amaterasu’s cave. Sunlight returned to the world. Amaterasu’s departure bought winger and wither her reappearance, came spring. In Greek mythology a fertility goddess Persephone was taken to the underworld each winter and allowed to return to her mother in the spring. Both of these myths are typical of the ancient efforts to explain the order of the universe and its mysterious connection to human life. In ancient Greece, the Milky Way was literally thought to be the breast milk of Hera, the wife of Zeus, king of the Gods. In order to attain immortality, the Greek hero Hercules, son of Zeus and a mortal woman, had to be given the breast milk of the mother goddess. The messenger god Hermes placed the infant at Hera’s breast as she slept. But when Hera opened her eyes she saw the half mortal child, she pushed the young Hercules away.
The milk that had begun to flow formed a trail in the sky- the milky way. Voices of the Universe: Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C) There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward, Indeed there are some stars seen in Egypt and in the neighborhood of Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions; and stars which in the north are never beyond the range of observation…All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but also that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent.
The Ancient Skies The Mesopotamians are the earliest civilization known to have actively studied the stars and planets, and produced the first known charts of the heavens. As with many cultures the Mesopotamians looked to nature for signs of things to come, whether it was reading the sheep droppings or looking at the heavens. The Sumerians, the earliest of the Mesopotamian cultures, where the first to record the movements in the skies and they did so for form than seven centuries. With a long collection to guide them, they placed the cyclical patterns of the Moon, then the Sun and the planets into an orderly cyclical rhythm. In other words The Sumerians invented the beginning of the earliest calendar. Their calendar was based on sixty, divided by the day into twenty-four hours, the hour into sixty into sixty minutes, and the minute into sixty seconds. The Babylonians also contributed by giving us the week seven days, which they named after the Sun, the Moon and the 5 brightest stars (They were actually planets)
Is the Big Dipper a Constellation? Modern astronomy recognizes eighty-eight areas, called constellations, into which the sky Is now divided for the purposes of identifying and naming celestial objects. Some of these are familiar as the twelve signs of the Zodiac and is still used in astrology today. Today, constellations are more of a convenience, a direction which to point when looking at the sky. Over the centuries many more constellations have been identified as well as smaller groupings of stars called asterisms. The Big Dipper is often the most easily identifiable grouping of stars, however it is an asterism within the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The little dipper is another asterism found within the the constellation of Ursa Minor, or the Little Bear.
Assignment-Work in Groups Identify as many constellations as possible Identify asterisms within the circle. Identify the constellation sign with a Zodiac sign The Constellation of the Astrological Zodiac Aries ( the Ram) Taurus (the Bull) Gemini (the Twins) Cancer (the Crab Leo (the Lion) Virgo (the Maiden) Libra ( the Scales Scorpio (the Scorpion) Sagittarius (the Centaur, also know in astrological history as the Archer Capricorn (the Goat, also associated with the god of Pan Aquarius ( the Water Bearer) Pisces (the Fish)
Milestones In the Universe 15-20 Billion years ago? The Big Bang. This is a theoretical Birth of the Universe, the one Most widely accepted by modern astronomers. In an instant of cosmic upheaval, all matter, energy, space and time were created in a cataclysmic burst of heat. Perhaps a billion years After this instant of Creation, gas clouds formed and the first stars began to be born. We Will discuss Big Bang theory at a later date. 5 Billion years ago: Our star, the sun, was born ad the solar system started to come into Being. Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago 9000-8000 B.C. (before Christ) The Maya of Central America make astronomical inscriptions and constellations. (Mayan Calendar Doomsday 2012?) A marked bone form this period, possibly as late as 6500 B.C. found in modern Zaire, is probably used as a record of months and lunar phases. 5508 B.C. The year of the Creation (This date was adopted in seventh century A.D. (Anno Domini) in Constantinople and used by the Eastern Orthodox Church. 5490 B.C. The year of Creation. (This date was adopted by the the early Syrian Christians)
c. 4241 B.C. The Egyptian Calendar is created. It is the first calendar based on 365 days, Twelve months of thirty days, and five days of festivals. The Egyptian calendar started with the day that Sirius the Dog Star, rises in line with the Sun in the morning, which coincides with the annual flood of the Nile. 4004 B.C. The year of Creation. ( This date was calculated by the Irish Cleric James Ussher in 150 AD. And was considered reliable by most of the European world until geology and biology contradicted it late in the nineteenth century. It is still accepted as “fact” by most “Creationists” 3760 B.C. The Year of Creation ( This date was recognized in the Hebrew Calendar and has been used since the fifteenth century AD) c.3000 B.C. The Babylonians predict eclipses. c.2500 B.C. The Chinese use a vertical pole to project a shadow of the sun for estimating time. 2296 B.C. Chinese observers record a comet, the earliest known record of a comet sighting. c. 2200 B.C. The Sumerians use a 360-day year, twelve month solar calendar along with a 354 day lunar calendar; the calendar has an extra month every eight years to keep it in step with the seasons. c. 1900 B.C. Stonehenge is erected at sometime in the next three centuries in Bronze Age Britain, possibly as a monumental calculator to chart the movements of the Sun, moon and planets.
Who was Ptolemy and what did he have to do with “one thousand points of light”? Claudius Ptolemaeus (100-170 ?) was a Greek astronomer who lived in Egypt during the rule of the Roman emperors, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelious. Ptolemy spent a lot of his time counting and cataloging the stars. When Ptolemy allied the stars, he came up with a figure of 1. 022 stars visible to the naked eye. (of course the telescope wouldn’t be invented for another 1,500 years) Ptolemy’s book the Almagest is described as the book of “Ptolemaic System” dictated that the Earth is the center of the universe and the Sun and Moon move around the Earth in perfect circles. Later his work was disproved but does show how inaccuracies can carry for centuries as fact.
Who is Johannes Kepler? Kepler worked as an astronomer, he was considered a mystic and deeply religious thinker at heart. To Kepler, God was geometry. In his view the universe was composed of the orbits of the planets as spheres stacked inside of five regular solids of classical geometry. In 1606, Kepler wrote De Stella Nova (On the New Star) dealing with the nova of 1604 still known today as Kepler’s Star. Then in 1609, he published Astonomia Nova (New Astronomy), which contained two revolutionary new laws of mathematics based on his investigation of Mars. In a declaration that shook the belief system of science he stated that the way the Earth and its place in the universe were seen, was that Mars was not moving in a circle-the perfect form but instead in an elliptical or oval shape. Kepler went on to write what is know known as Kepler’s Laws.
Kepler’s Laws 1.Every planet follows an oval-shaped path, or orbit, around the sun called an ellipse. The Sun is located at one focus of the elliptical orbit. As a result, the planets are a little closer to the Sun at some times during the orbits. 2.An imaginary line from the center of the Sun to the center of a planet sweeps out the same area in a given time. This means that planets move faster when they are closer to the sun and slower when they are farthest away 3.Ten years later, he wrote this third law, The time taken by a planet to make one complete trip around the Sun is its orbital period. The square of the period (the period multiplied upon itself) dived by the cube of the distance (the distance multiplied twice by itself) is the same for all planets. In simpler terms, a planet that Is four times as far from the Sun as another planet takes eight times as long to orbit the Sun.