How have observations of the sky enabled humans to explore and travel?
These are the questions:
How have observations of the sky enabled humans to explire and travel?
how are altitude and azimuth used in determining objects in the sky?
how would an astronomer locate a specific star if she or he were only given the right ascension and declination?
How could ancient cultures predict the solstices and equinoxes?
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Diana, you can only ask one question at a time. I will tackle the first part of your question here.
Observations of the sky allowed explorers to mark the passage of time both in hours and through the months of the year. Early astronomers also realized that the night sky does not look the same from different places on the Earth. This led to the realization that careful astronomical observation would make it possible to figure out where on the surface of the Earth you were. This allowed for travelers to set out on an exploration knowing that they would be able to find their way back home.
Another important piece of information that astronomy imparted was the idea that the Earth was round. The ancient Greeks not only knew the Earth was round, they also estimated its radius pretty accurately. Having this information increased the number of explorers, because they did not, contrary to popular belief, fear falling "off the edge" of the planet.
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