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The Cradle of Civilisation and the birth of modern astronomy ~ Dr Jan Drozd (WEaldon AS)

Western astronomy has its roots in ancient Babylonia where, from about 1800 BC, astronomical observations and measurements were used to establish an accurate calendar, which was important for planting crops at the right time. These observations and measurements were also used for astrological predictions. Following on from this, the first scientific approach to understanding the cosmos was taken by the ancient Greeks. Their models and predictions held sway in the Western world for well over a thousand years and formed the basis of the development of astronomy in the Islamic world between about 750 and 1250 AD. Baghdad, Damascus, Cordoba and other cities were great centres of learning. The names of many stars come from this period of Islamic science. Many Islamic ideas were taken up in Western Europe and some helped Copernicus in his development of a heliocentric model of the then known Universe, basically our Solar System, published in 1543.




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