By John M. Steele
The discovery of a steady acceleration within the moon’s suggest movement via Edmond Halley within the final decade of the 17th century ended in a revival of curiosity in studies of astronomical observations from antiquity. those observations supplied the single potential to check the moon’s ‘secular acceleration’, as this newly-discovered acceleration turned identified. This publication includes the 1st certain research of using historical and medieval astronomical observations for you to examine the moon’s secular acceleration from its discovery through Halley to the institution of the value of the acceleration via Richard Dunthorne, Tobias Mayer and Jérôme Lalande within the 1740s and 1750s. Making broad use of formerly unstudied manuscripts, this paintings exhibits how diverse astronomers used an analogous small physique of preserved historical observations in several methods of their paintings at the secular acceleration. moreover, this paintings seems to be on the wider context of the examine of the moon’s secular acceleration, together with its use in debates of biblical chronology, even if the heavens have been made from æther, and using astronomy in opting for geographical longitude. It additionally discusses wider problems with the perceptions and information of historical and medieval astronomy within the early-modern interval. This publication might be of curiosity to historians of astronomy, astronomers and historians of the traditional world.
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Additional resources for Ancient Astronomical Observations and the Study of the Moon’s Motion (1691-1757)
If the cities are restored to their proper positions, then we must instead assume that the apparent motion of the sun is retarded over time. Finally, he refers to the moon’s motion: Ptolemy makes Babylon too near Alexandria by 3/8 of an hour therefore in reducing the Babylonish observations to Alexandria he makes all of their times later than they were, and the interval between them and the observations made at Alexandria too little so that he makes the ƒ revolve in less time than (it) really did.
D. 29. as from Dr. Halley: And shall make it in other old Eclipses, till I am satisfied that it is a Mistake. Which if it be, it behoves Dr. Halley to clear this Matter to the publick. 32 Whiston continued by claiming that this correction is confirmed by Thucydides’s account of a solar eclipse at Athens that took place during the first year of the Peloponnesian War, which without the correction for the Moon’s acceleration would take place during the hours of night. C. , Halley’s) own Determination”, and secondly that these allowances depend upon Halley’s “Observations and Assertions, and on them alone”.
Samuel Clarke, p. 4. Whiston, Memoirs of the Life of Dr. Samuel Clarke, p. 148. 14 Whiston computed the circumstances of the eclipses using his “Copernicus”, a mechanical instrument he had devised for calculating astronomical phenomena. The Copernicus instruments were made by John Senex and sold both by Senex and by Whiston himself at the price of six guineas. Whiston presented the instrument at a meeting of the Royal Society on 10 February 1715/6. According to Farrell (1981), p. 216 no examples of Whiston’s “Copernicus” have been identified.
Ancient Astronomical Observations and the Study of the Moon’s Motion (1691-1757) by John M. Steele