Astronomical patterns
« on: January 12, 2019, 03:37:51 PM »
Tom is often describing astronomy as largely based on patterns.  I won't disagree with that. For a start there are 88 constellations in the sky which are perceived patterns of stars in the sky. Many were created in ancient times as Tom mentions by Arabic and Chinese astronomers of the time.  As well as their connections to mythology we can also use these patterns in the present day as a guide to finding objects in the sky. We call it 'star hopping'.

Since we observe the same phenomenen and events in the sky today that our ancestors would have seen, clearly there are different types of patterns going on as well. Early time keeping methods were based on such patterns. Occasionally of course there would be a non-regular event visible in the sky such as the appearance of a bright comet or even the odd supernova. Astronomers in 1054 noted the appearance of a brilliant new 'star' in the constellation Taurus which was located close to where the cresent Moon was at the time. The supernova was visible in broad daylight at its brightest. Today we observe that same supernova in the form of the Crab Nebula. Modern (20th century) measurements show how the gas is still expanding outwards.

Today the patterns we observe are explained through mathematics and this has allowed us to predict astronomical events of many types down to accuracies of a minute or less. Many aspects of mathematics are quite generally based on patterns.

Returning briefly to star patterns again, I wondered how the celestial sphere fits into FE theory.  The north celestial pole sits over the north pole of the Earth. The south celestial pole of the sky sits over the south pole of the Earth. You can see star trail circles getting smaller and smaller in radius until they converge at the south celestial pole.  So the southern hemisphere stars behave in exactly the same way as the northern hemisphere stars but effective in reverse. 
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 03:41:57 PM by shootingstar »