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Astronomy and Space Timeline

Ancient History Through The Renaissance

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  • 2680 BC: The Great Pyramid at Giza completed.
  • 2300BC: Chinese astronomers start to observe the sky
  • 2296BC: A comet is observed for the first time by the Chinese
  • 1860 BC: The Construction of Stonehenge.
  • 1800BC: Babylonians begin to keep observational records
  • 1600BC: Chaldean astronomers identify the zodiac
  • 763BC: Solar eclipse observed and recorded by Babylonians
  • 624BC: Thales of Miletus was born.
  • 585BC: Thales of Miletus predicted a solar eclipse.
  • 547BC: Thales of Miletus died.
  • 500BC: Pythagoras suggests that the Earth is a sphere and not flat, as had been previously assumed
  • 440 BC: Greek philosopher Leucippus and Democritus, his student present the concept that all matter consists of fundamental particles called atoms. (Atom comes from the Greek word meaning "indivisible.")
  • 365BC: Chinese spot first moons of Jupiter with the naked eye
  • 350 BC: Aristotle writes Meteorologica, the first book on weather.
  • 300 BC: Euclid, a Greek from Alexandria, writes Elements, introducing geometry (which means "land measurement").
  • 270BC: Aristarchus says that the Sun is at the center of the Solar System; this is generally dismissed
  • 240BC: What would later become known as Halley's comet is observed by the Chinese
  • 212 BC: Archimedes calculates the area of circle, defines the principles of the lever, the screw, and buoyancy.
  • 194 BC: Eratosthenes calculates the size of Earth.
  • 120 BC: Hipparchus of Rhodes (161 BC-122 BC, ) Defines the cosmos by latitude and longitude; and makes triangular measurement of celestial navigation.
  • 127: Alexandrian astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) publishes Almagest, in which he catalogued 1,022 stars - the previous known number of stars being 850. This was the primary astronomy text for 14 centuries.
  • 1473:Copernicus born in Poland. Nicolas Copernicus born in Poland.
  • 1514: Astronomer Nicolas Copernicus suggests that the earth moves around the sun.
  • 1543: Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus Orbium Caoelestium (The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), the theory that earth revolves around the sun, while on his deathbed.
  • 1546: Tycho Brahe born in Denmark.
  • 1552: Books on Geography and Astronomy are burned in England because people thought they contained magic.
  • 1564: Galileo Galilei born in Italy.
  • 1572: Tycho Brahe observes a supernova in Cassiopeia constellation.
  • 1583: Galileo Galilei demonstrates that successive beats of a pendulum always take place in the same length of time, regardless of the distance through which it swings.
  • 1590: Microscope invented by Dutch spectacle maker Zacharias Janssen. Galileo Galileiexperiments with falling objects.
  • 1593: Galileo Galilei invents a water thermometer.
  • 1596: Johannes Kepler publishes Mysterium cosmographicum.
  • 1598: Tycho Brahe describes his experiments in astronomy.
  • 1608: Hans Lippershey invents the telescope
  • 1609: Galileo Galilei improves the telescope.
Continue to The Renaissance Through The Industrial Age

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