Ancient Babylonians Traced Jupiter With Complex Geometry

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Ancient Babylonians are now credited for using geometry to trace the planets 1400 years before the technique was to be invented in Europe.

Who Tracked Jupiter First?

It has been widely accepted that Europeans had traced the night sky for us using complex mathematics in the fourteenth century…until today. It now been discovered that ancient Babylonians were highly developed astronomers and mathematicians. New research suggests that ancient Babylonians used complex geometry to track the path of Jupiter. Their handiwork, still carved in stone, was found in an area that is now Iraq, and is considered to have been a technique used over 1400 years before the Europeans.

Way Ahead of Their Time

These ancient Babylonian astronomers were located in what is now Iraq and Syria. Their civilization emerged around 1800 BC and through advanced methods of geometry they kept track of the night sky over centuries. Previously, it had been thought that the Europeans were the first to use these complex mathematics to track the night sky. Tablets found showing graphs of trapezoid indicating motion in an abstract way, demonstrating velocity against time is new. The Babylonians used a more straightforward approach when dealing with spatial relationships between the Earth and the planets, which is different than the traditional approach of time and velocity.

Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gy8dd

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35431974

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6272/482

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