Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Short History of Eclipse Prediction

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Solar System, Earth & Space Science, Maths, History of Science, Astronomy

Ed Hessler

Quanta Magazine has a short video (9m 16s) on the prediction of solar eclipses - when and where. It is posted on You Tube.  The chapters are shown with their beginning times after the brief video description.

"Nearly 3,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians began one of the longest-running science experiments in history. (ul added) The goal: to predict eclipses. This singular aim has driven innovation across the history of science and mathematics, from the Saros cycle to Greek geometry to Newton’s calculus to the three-body problem. Today, eclipse prediction is a precise science; NASA scientists predict eclipses hundreds of years into the future. (Featuring Stephen Wolfram.)"

The link to Stephen Wolfram includes an essay about it. It is also a resource for terms, some of which may be new. In the video most of these slip by quickly and reading them may help.

It is mathematical but the maths are not discussed in depth although equations are shown, etc. I post it because it includes the details of this "longest running science experiment in history." I was surprised by the records (data) that have been preserved for such a long period.

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