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Sands of Time: Babylonian Astronomy and the Earth's Rotation ~ Dr. Leslie Morrison

Babylonians were the par excellence astronomers of the ancient world.

They made regular and systematic observations of the heavens over many centuries. Extant observations on clay tablets cover the period 700 BC to 1 AD. Principally, they looked for omens in the sky, which would affect affairs of state. However, keeping regular records of their observations enabled them to predict astronomical events associated with the Sun, Moon and planets. In particular, they observed the separation of the Sun and Moon by timing the intervals between their rising or setting on the flat desert horizon. They predicted the occurrence of eclipses, and observed the total solar eclipse of 136 BC which passed over Babylon itself. Babylonian data from this eclipse, combined with other historical observations of eclipses, allow us to measure the deceleration of the Earth’s spin from 700 BC onwards. This is compared with the value expected on the basis of the tidal interaction between the Moon and the Earth.

Everything you wanted to know about the JWT but were afraid to ask ~ Simon Allen & David Pulley

The James Webb Telescope will be launched in a few years time and will replace the Hubble Telescope.  Now is your chance to find out more.

Britain's First Early Warning System: An Update ~ Roy Bicknell

 

 


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