The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Astronomy

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Astronomy

If you’re keen to get into Astronomy, you’re participating in one of the oldest human traditions. Depictions of the cosmos range back far into human history, and almost certainly into pre-history. People from the Greeks to the Chinese to the Mayans looked up at the night sky and derived forms of meaning from it. This yearning towards the stars has taken many different paths, from the mystical to the scientific, from creation stories to moon landings. Peoples have organized their calendars, their foundational stories, their rituals on the images they observed in the sky.

Ever seen the Bayeux Tapestry? There’s a real comet, one of the earliest historical references to what became known as Halley’s Comet. The Normans saw the comet as a divine sanction of their invasion across the Channel in 1066, and a bad sign for the English king.

Far, far away at around the same time (and even before), the Mayans were organizing their cyclical calendar, all based on what they observed in the sky. Studying astronomy is a way of studying history.

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