The origins of astronomy


When did astronomy occur? Good question. Answering is a pleasure. After all, the origins are securely hidden by the darkness of the apocryphal times. And what happened there was exactly what each author thinks is most likely.

First, let's answer the question: why did the ancestors need astronomy?

Now, without astronomy, people couldn't.:

1. To navigate the terrain and, therefore, to remember and, if necessary, where to report your address.

2. Determine the days of the week and thus would miss Saturday and Sunday.

3. To know the time.

Imagine how terrible life would unaddressed, that haunts humanity, devoid of besides the clock and calendar! Try setting up a date without knowing what day of the week to meet, and without having a watch on your hand. Astronomy needed to be seen. And its have come up. When?

Traveling through time, we stopped in the bronze age. Well, let's look around. Goes for about 2700 BC. On the channel, fenced dam, glide sailing boats. They are not as elegant as modern yachts, but first. And here is the first road laid by people. Of dust, really, but the dust raised by the first wheels of the first wagon. The road leads to the first city. A real city with the first multi-storey houses built of stone and brick.

In the city – States the main buildings so far-temples. Kings part-time perform the role of priests – the unity of temporal and spiritual power. For 2700 years BC, the Egyptian priests with great precision managed to predict the annual flooding of the Nile. And for this it was necessary to know the duration of the year. To set the time between two passages of the Sun through the vernal equinox (in the modern astronomy to indicate the tropical year) without long-term observation of fluorescent light is impossible.

However, already 4 thousand years before our era the Egyptian priests have set this period equal to the first 360 days, and then, watching Sirius, after 2 thousand years, the calendar has been amended: a one-year period was set at 365 days.

Incidentally, the Mayan priests, who had neither telescopes nor other precise astronomical instruments at their disposal, regarded the same period as 365,242129 days.

According to modern data the tropical year is equal 365,242198 days.

So, the Egyptians were not the first to use the observation of the sky for their own purposes. The search for the beginnings of astronomy takes us even further in time, in the era preceding the bronze age - in Neolithic.

In Western France and England there are amazing buildings – round or square fences of huge stone slabs and pillars. Scientists call them cromlechs and menhirs. One of these structures is Stonehenge, located in England. When the computer was asked, "what goals could the builders of Stonehenge pursue?", the answer was that the most likely purpose of the structure is astronomical. And that build it could only be those for whom the determination of the position of the Sun and moon with a precision of one degree, was not insurmountable task. There are assumptions, that these facilities could serve for storage time. Something like an ancient calendar with dozens of tons of leaves.

The Neolithic era is characterized by the emergence of the first settlements. Treated plots of land take the form of permanent fields. In the period of tillage especially important are predictions of natural phenomena. There are the first holidays of fertility and harvest. About this period, men do not like to spread especially – because then blossomed matriarchate.

Holidays had to be made in the same days. So someone had to do the time. And since the role of the calendar Moon and Sun, then had to exist and their observers. So astronomy existed in the Neolithic period, too.

And let's dig even deeper, in the Paleolithic era. This is the oldest period of development of the primitive communal system. People only-only" invented " the fire. Warmed by the heat, they sit on the threshold of their caves, preparing for the next hunt. Moon! Even a person who has never fired a slingshot understands how important it is for hunting. Now just flip the calendar to November 10 – new moon. Through six pages of seven days, the sixteenth of the first quarter. Another week-full moon. Sunrise at 15: 31, sunset at 9:28. It's clear. But twelve to fifteen thousand years ago all this had to be kept in memory. In General, for meat pressing for the moon had to watch. And this is not astronomy?

Thus, the observations of the sky accompany us throughout the entire development of mankind. What if you look more deeply, to the era of the origin of life. It is known for sure-dogs howl at the moon. However, it is not entirely clear what they mean. But birds then just navigating by the stars, going on a travel. Bees and ants without the Sun certainly would be lost and never found their way to the hive and the anthill.

It is possible to continue the examples indefinitely. The sight of the starry sky, the use of astronomical observations entered not only the mind, but also the instinct of all living things. When did astronomy arise?

Never! She was always!