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History of Astronomy

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History of Astronomy Answer Key

Wurdi Youang, a prehistoric aboriginal stone arrangement believed to be an early observatory which marked the solstices and equinoxes, is located on which continent?
  • Australia
The precise orientation with celestial objects of the pyramids of what ancient culture shows the high degree of technical skill in watching the heavens? This culture had attained this skill by the 3rd millennium BCE.
  1. Roman
  2. Egyptian
  3. Persian
  4. Chinese
What is the name of this ancient monument found in Britain which is believed to be some kind of an astronomical observatory?
  • Stonehenge
One of the earliest recorded astronomical observations is the Nebra sky disk from northern Europe. This 30cm bronze disk depicts the Sun, the Moon and stars (including the Pleiades cluster). The disk dates from approximately what year?
  1. 1600 BCE
  2. 500 BCE
  3. 100 CE
  4. 1600 CE

Around 1600 BCE, what ancient Mesopotamian culture recorded astronomical observations such as positions of planets and times of eclipses?
  • Babylonians
Around 500 BCE, the Greek presocratic natural philosopher Thales used math and ancient Babylonian data to predict                .
  1. sunspots
  2. eclipses
  3. rainy seasons
  4. comets
What third-century BCE Greek natural philosopher was the first to accurately estimate the size of the Earth, Moon, Sun, and the distances between the nearby planets?
  1. Aristotle
  2. Alexander the Great
  3. Aristarchus
  4. Androcles
In 100 BCE, the Greek astronomer and founder of trigonometry, Hipparchus, produced the first star catalog and recorded the names of star clusters or constellations.
Before the invention of the telescope, and besides the stars, there were only seven objects visible to the ancients: the Sun, the Moon, and which five planets?
  • Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn
To the ancients, there were two classes of objects in the night sky: those that appeared fixed in place (stars) and those that seemed to move about. These aimlessly traveling objects became known as planets from the Greek word for "wanderers".
People in the Western hemisphere had a basic understanding of stellar and planetary behavior. Shown here is a petroglyph depicting a 1006 CE supernova observed by which culture?
  1. Greek
  2. Roman
  3. Native American
  4. Chinese
The oldest existing star map dates from 1092 CE. It was found in what country in 1907?
  1. Greece
  2. Egypt
  3. India
  4. China
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