Discoveries and accomplishments of ancient Chinese Astronomy
Ancient Chinese Astronomy
and the discoveries of the far east are very important in the overall history of Astronomy. We know from studying ancient Chinese books, that some of the earliest astronomical observations were made by the Chinese. The earliest books about Astronomy were published by priests and other travellers who went to the far east and China.
The first developments in Astronomy
The first planetarium ever built was made by the ancient Chinese. They wanted to track the movements of celestial bodies. The emperor Chueni saw five planets in conjuction to each other.Which means that they were on the same longitude in the celestial sphere.
Charting the Sun and tracking the seasons in ancient Chinese Astronomy
The emperor Yao told his astronomers to record the positions of the solstices and equinoxes. Solstices happen when the Sun is the greatest distance away from the celestial equator. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. The autumnal and vernal equinoxes happen when the Sun crosses the plane of the Earth's equator, and day and night are of equal length. They used these measurements in part, to keep track of the seasons.
The ancient Chinese knew that one year was 365 days long, based on records of a primitive calendar. This is an amazing accomplishment that took careful study and observation, and shows that they were advanced in their thinking.
The first Astronomy observatories
By the year 2300 BC, the ancient Chinese were using buildings made to observe the heavens. These buildings helped them to observe various celestial events like solar eclipses and comets. Whenever a solar eclipse happened, it predicted the heath and success of the emperor.
The accomplishments of the ancient Chinese
So as you can see, the ancient Chinese made lots of important discoveries in Astronomy. They probably weren't the first people to look to the heavens in wonder, but they were curious enough to see that the Sun and planets followed patterns which could be recorded. We owe them a big thank you for their early achievements in Astronomy.
Return to the top of ancient Chinese Astronomy