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Ancient India and Astronomy

This post is about the astronomy in ancient India. We all are aware of the fact that ancient India has contributed a lot in the field of astronomy.
The earliest references to astronomy are found in the Rig Veda (a religious text), which are dated 2000 BC. By the year 500 AD astronomy emerged as an important part of study in our ancient India. During that period astronomy was used with astrology for casting of horoscope. Astronomy also developed as an independent subject and their was some independent findings like :

1.The calculation of occurrences of eclipses
2.Determination of Earth's circumference
3.Theorizing about the theory of gravitation
4.Determining that sun was a star and determination of number of planets under our solar system .

In the year 500 AD Aryabhat one of the known historical astronomers from ancient India presented a mathematical system that took the Earth to spin on its axis and considered the motions of the planets with respect to the sun .His book, the Aryabhat, presented astronomical and mathematical theories in which the Earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to the sun.

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur not only follows the movements of the sun and the moon to help determine auspicious dates for events, it also helps map out the position of the stars in the sky. Although no telescopic instruments were available at the time, the precise observation of the stars was greatly facilitated by observatories such as Jantar Mantar.

How can we forget that On April 19, 1975, India sent into orbit its first satellite Aryabhatta. In 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go to outer space. Kalpana Chawla, later a US citizen, became the first woman of Indian origin to go to space.
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5 Responses to “Ancient India and Astronomy”

Murali said...
March 27, 2010 at 2:07 AM

That was a great news , proud to be an Indian

One of The Guys said...
March 27, 2010 at 4:53 AM

I'm always interested in learning about Indian history. My father was Indian.

Thanks! Have a great weekend.

lawmacs said...
March 29, 2010 at 12:36 AM

This is news to me it is always good to highlight these findings as with history so much is hidden from us Shabnam this is good for the youger ones coming up to be more proud of their motherland. Very Interesting Stuff sis.

Whiztechy said...
March 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Shabnam, Great post. Many Indians were not knowing about this.

You really write cool post. keep rocking :)

Shabnam Sultan said...
March 30, 2010 at 9:08 PM

@Whiztechy thanks for your comment.


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