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History of Astronomy Report

Phases of Astronomy

Until the present day, astronomy had its origin in antiquity, based on the study and observation of physical objects such as the moon and the sun. These were closely interlinked with mythology and religion. The Mesopotamian era catalogues stars, a time when a circle was first divided into 360 degree.

This was when Stonehenge observatory was first constructed in Southern England, followed by the period when the Indians constructed a big wheel to be used as a calendar, to the period when the carol temple was constructed as an observatory leading to the Greek period (Smith, 1999).

The Greek astronomy was influenced by the Egyptian and Babylonian astronomy that relied on astrology leading to the medieval western European view of astronomy and the renaissance period to the modern view of astronomy.

Important Astronomers

The astronomic wheel relied on important astronomers such as Plato who argued that the circle is the only perfect form, followed by Aristotle who proved that the earth was round contrary to the previous beliefs that the earth was flat, then Aristarchus who discovered that the earth rotated about its axis, to Eratosthenes who discovered the method for calculating the earth’s circumference, then Hipparchus who discovered stellar magnitudes, and Plotemy who came up with Almagest (Smith, 1999).

Ancient Greek Science

These included Copernicus who published his work in 1543 on retrograde motion the sun as the center around which planets revolved based on a mathematical model. This was followed by Tycho Brahe the inventor of geheliocentric system that provided accurate measurements of the positions of the planets. This was followed by Kepler. Smith (1999) argues that Kepler devised the three laws of motion.

These laws identified planetary motions to be elliptical with equal displacements of the line linking the sun and the planet taking place at equal time intervals and the relationship between the distances between the planets taking mathematical relationships of cubed distances. This was followed by Galileo who discovered the physical nature of heavenly bodies, the Milky Way, Jupiter, rotational sunspots, and the phases of Venus. This culminated to Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion.

Copernican Revolution

Based on a heliocentric model of the movement of heavenly bodies replacing the Ptolemaic model of the universe, where the universe was seen from the perspective the planets revolving round the sun in a sphere the birth of heliocentric cosmology. Mathematical calculations were basic tools in use.

Astronomy Today

This has blended principles of physics, quantum physics, and spectrometry in the study of heavenly bodies with new discoveries. In addition to that, satellites, spacecrafts, space observatories, and robots have been tools used in modern astronomy. Today the universe is idealized as being flat.

The Future of Astronomy

Based on current technology, physics, and astronomy more research may reveal new laws that govern the universe, the nature of solar systems and man’s position and ability to conquer the universe.

Newton’s Laws of Motion

According to the first law, a body can only change its direction of motion upon the action of an external impulsive force, while the second law stipulates that the rate of motion of a body is directly proportional to the applied force in the direction of the force and the third law clearly stipulate that actions and reactions are equal and opposite to each other.

Einstein’s Law

The energy contained in the photons of a body is equivalent to the product of the frequency of light and Planck’s constant that depends on the quantum energy in photons.

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

The amount of energy in a body was directly proportional to its mass taking the square of the speed of light as a constant.


Smith, G. (1999). A Brief History of Astronomy. University of California, San Diego.

Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences. Retrieved from

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