Four Greek Astronomers

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4 Greek Astronomers/Scientists Some of the top scholars in Greek history were Thales, Hipparchus, Aristarchus, and Ptolemy. These astronomers, scientists, mathematicians, and more went beyond their time to figure out problems and the world’s science, as we know it today. All four of these men have discovered, invented, or figured out a way to increase our knowledge of space and how it works. Looking back on what they have accomplished, they must have been true masters of their art to have figured out how things work with such limited resources.
Thales was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, politician and businessman. He was believed to have lived between the years 620 B.C. and 540 B.C. He was born in a place called Miletus, which would be
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In astronomy, he is credited with being the first person to use the little dipper, or Ursa Minor, as a navigational aid. This was very helpful because the little dipper contains the star Polaris, which moves very little during the night sky. It is also claimed that he predicted an eclipse, but this is anecdotal and cannot be confirmed. He also made discoveries in geometry such as his intercept theorem that deals with intersecting lines. He also came up with the theorem that was named after him, the Thales theorem that deals with triangles. In the study of Philosophy, Thales is most known for his position about the nature of matter. Thales believed that all things came from a single substance, and he believed that the substance was water. Thales believed that everything was just a different form of water, and that everything would eventually revert back to water. This was an important philosophical idea because it questioned the nature of all…show more content…
Hipparchus recorded that every year the Sun traces out a circular path known as an ecliptic and that it passes through the Earth’s center. The two points at which the ecliptic and the equatorial plane intersect where known as the vernal (spring) and Autumnal equinoxes and the two points of the ecliptic farthest north and south from the equatorial where the summer and winter solstices. However, Hipparchus found that the Sun’s passage is not symmetrical giving us seasons that are not symmetrical. Hipparchus came up with a mathematical model that could calculate not only the Sun’s orbital location on any date but its position from Earth. Hipparchus would also try to measure the length of the tropical year, the period for the Sun to complete one passage through the ecliptic. By comparing his own observations of the solstices with other observations from the 5th and 3rd centuries BC estimated the tropical year and was only six minutes too
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