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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Harte
Pretty hard to think of using arc seconds for ancient astronomy when the best the human eye can discern is something a bit more than half an arc minute.
Not impossible with a decent device.
originally posted by: Harte
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Harte
Pretty hard to think of using arc seconds for ancient astronomy when the best the human eye can discern is something a bit more than half an arc minute.
Not impossible with a decent device.
Unfortunately, no angle measuring device from Babylonia has ever been found - which matches up well with the utter absence of any mathematics involving angles (other than right angles.)
Harte
originally posted by: Hanslune
originally posted by: Harte
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Harte
Pretty hard to think of using arc seconds for ancient astronomy when the best the human eye can discern is something a bit more than half an arc minute.
Not impossible with a decent device.
Unfortunately, no angle measuring device from Babylonia has ever been found - which matches up well with the utter absence of any mathematics involving angles (other than right angles.)
Harte
Do you mean an astronomical compass or sextant sort of device?
originally posted by: AthlonSavage
divide by 6 = 462.92 (coincidentally speed of rotation of earth.)
originally posted by: Harte
originally posted by: bloodymarvelous
originally posted by: Harte
originally posted by: Cauliflower
Arc seconds were first recorded in Babylonian astronomy 3000 BC.
I don't think that's true.
Got a reliable source?
originally posted by: bloodymarvelouswww.storyofmathematics.com...
You've got to figure that only a very tiny fraction of their material survived, though. We're just lucky some of it was on clay tablets that could survive thousands of years intact.
If they'd written it on paper, or skins, or cloth, like most cultures, the we wouldn't have anything at all. So there could be other civilizations contemporary to them or even earlier than them, for all we know.
Yes, I think I said something like that: "there's no record of them using these to measure angles with."
They divided the circle into multiples of 60, but they didn't measure angles using that. In fact, their mathematics shows nothing about angles and their relationships, thought there is a large amount of material about triangles - all of it concerned with the side lengths and none of it about the angles in a triangle.
So it's logical to hypothesize that they had no angular mathematics at all, and thus never "recorded" arcseconds.
It's just that the (semi) modern invention of the arcsecond as an angle measure (such as for analyzing the sky) descends from the Babylonian division of a circle.
originally posted by: bloodymarvelous
Earliest use of degrees that we know of is Ptolemy. The Babylonians divided a circle into 360 parts, and probably the subdivisions minute and second. But there's no record of them using these to measure angles with.
Unless you have found something.
Harte
Ptolemy probably got most of his ideas from Babylonian documents, which got them from Sumerian ones.
Somebody did. It's thought that Ptolemy's work is based on earlier Greek works now lost.
But there's no doubt that the sexagesimal system used in angle measurement (and in time measurement) originates with Mesopotamian cultures. But no reason to think the Mesopotamians used it to measure angles.
Harte