The Life and Accomplishments of Claudius Ptolemy Essay
The Life and Accomplishments of Claudius Ptolemy, 496 words essay example
The Life and Accomplishments of Claudius Ptolemy
Astronomy has been something that's been practiced for numerous centuries. Whether it was curiosity over the night sky and the shape of the Earth to today's technology monitoring stars light years away. The dictionary definition of astronomy is, "Astronomy is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids)" By definition, it would be plausible for Astronomy to originate much earlier than anticipated. However, it takes a lot to be part of the elite group of astronomers, pioneers, and thinkers like Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and Edwin Hubble, et cetera.
For instance, Claudius Ptolemy was an early contributor to the field of astronomy. Ptolemy was a Greek and Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and writer. Not a lot of detail is known about Ptolemy's early life the only accurate and credible information about him is his birthplace. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt and held Roman citizenship. Of course, Ptolemy was very talented and intellectual however, there must be emphasis in the relevant astronomical portion of his life. Unlike Hipparchus, it is believed that Ptolemy derived his geometrical models from selected astronomical observations by his predecessors spanning more than 800 years. Ptolemy's models were used to track the movement of celestial activity. Ptolemy presented his astronomical models in convenient tables, which could be used to calculate the future or past position of the planets. He wrote a book called "The Almagest" containing a star catalogue, which is somewhat like something Hipparchus created. The book listed 48 constellations very accurate to the modern system of constellations. However, they did not cover the whole sky, but only the area of the sky that he could see. The portion that he could see included Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the Medieval times. Ptolemy's model, like many around his time and his ancestors, was geocentric and was almost universally accepted until the appearance of simpler heliocentric models during the scientific revolution. I find this very interesting because it goes to show how even the great and intellectual ones can be wrong too. His designs were inspired from 800 years of observations and studies to think that everything up to that point was a misunderstanding is incredible. After the first book, Ptolemy went on to write more, "his Planetary Hypotheses went beyond the mathematical model of the Almagest to present a physical realization of the universe as a set of nested spheres." Ptolemy estimated the Sun was at an average distance of 1,210 Earth radii, while the radius of the sphere of the fixed stars was 20,000 times the radius of the Earth. Even though Ptolemy didn't invent the most futuristic device or proved millions of laws, he kept ideas and set the foundation of astronomy to grow. Although he was wrong, his observations and recordings were still valid and can be put into context about the past knowledge of astronomy.