A Brief History of Astronomy
In the early days of human civilization, man looked upon the sky with wonder, and perhaps even a little fear. After all, what was the nature of all these glowing orbs in the sky? From these times, man has left some clues as to the way he perceived these strange objects. Early man would often deify these objects, ascribing to them the nature of gods, beasts and otherworldly beings.
|An ancient star glyph|
|The British megalithic monument Stonehenge|
Ptolemy (200 AD) was the librarian of Alexandria, and developed a complete description of the solar system that was able to explain the motions of the planets, and was one of the first known proponents of the heliocentric worldview that we take for granted today.
In the 1500s, during the Renaissance the Polish astronomer Copernicus reinvented the heliocentric worldview, which was at odds with the Church's geocentric model of the universe.
|Polish astronomer Copernicus|
In the present day, scientists use powerful telescopes such as the Hubble telescope to observe the heavens and apply their knowledge of physics and mathematics to attempt to describe the universe around us.
|An image from the Hubble space telescope.|