This course gives an overview of the History of Astronomy until
the beginning of the 20th century in a series of 9 lectures

about a selection of topics. Simultaneously it teaches the students
how to do basic calculations pertaining to

the history of
astronomy. Examples of lectures in a previous version of this course
may be found at examples.

Examples of the
kind of things you will learn to compute are given at
Computing examples

The teachers are Professors
Frank Verbunt
and
Jan Hogendijk
from Utrecht University,

and Professor
Teije de Jong
from the University of Amsterdam.

The computer work requires a basic knowledge of programming; FV will
teach this in Utrecht with the assistance of Oliwia Madej,

using FORTRAN90 and PGPLOT. Help practica
will be given in the home universities of the students,

using locally available FORTRAN and PGPLOT.

The following books are required to follow the course:

author | book | ISBN; approx.price |

John M. Steele | A Brief Introduction to Astronomy in the Middle East | 978-0863564284 7.99 UK Pounds |

Anton Pannekoek | History of Astronomy | sold out! try second-hand |

Useful websites for the computer work are

- Codes for practical work with lecture 1:
Makefile;
iachist.f90;
hippo.f90;
compf90;
Setenv;
hippob.f90;

- Code for practical work with lecture 5:
homer.f90

- Code for practical work with lecture 6:
iacplan.f90

- Code for practical work with lecture 7:
shortmoon.f90
collatefiles

- Code and equations for practical work with lecture 8:
comet.f90
equations

date | topic of lecture; 11h00-12h45 Room: BBL079 | by | material | topic of practical work; 13h15-15h00 Room: BBL115 |

27 April | Positional Astronomy , Megalithic Astronomy | FV | syllabus | using the Hipparcos Catalogue; plotting |

4 May | Babylonian Astronomy , Numerical Methods in B.A. | TdJ | Steele p.9-65 | position of Jupiter Babylonian method , number sheet |

11 May | Greek Astronomy , System of Ptolemaios | JH | Pannekoek p.95-105,113-162 | how to use an astrolabe (JH/WdG) |

25 May | Islamic Astronomy , Islamic Mathematical Astronomy | JH | Steele p.83-84,99-133 | position of Jupiter Ptolemaean method , Tables (JH) |

1 June | European medieval astronomy | FV | syllabus | coordinate transformations, precession |

8 June | Copernican revolution | JH | Pannekoek pp.188-198; 222-234 | planet positions |

15 June | Newtonian revolution | FV | Pannekoek 235-244; 261-275 | lunar position, daily parallax |

22 June | Towards modern astronomy | FV | Pannekoek 289-320 | position of a comet: Halley |

29 June* | Modern use of ancient astronomy: history | TdJ | syllabus | |

Modern use of ancient astronomy: astronomy | FV | syllabus |

- Stonehenge, -2500. Find the Julian day of the northern solstice in this year, plot the sky at sunrise, with the planets. See example (without planets...) from Stonehenge 2500 BC
- Luoyang, Dec 16, 1576 BC. Show that four of the planets were in the same region of the sky, plot this region in altazimut coordinates as seen from Luoyang. Also plot it one day before and one day later. See Pankenier (1981, Early China 7, p.20)
- Alexandria, -103. Compute the position of Jupiter (with the modern method!) in the weeks before and after opposition, as seen from Alexandria near midnight, in altazimut coordinates (fix the hour angle for the stars). (See your earlier reports...)
- Athens, 509. Halley (1717 Philosophical Transactions 30, 736) mentions an occultation of Palilicium (=Aldebaran) by the Moon on March 11, 509, in Athens. Make a plot of Taurus and the position of the Moon on that night.
- Rome and Tours, 570. According to Gregoire de Tours, the length of the day increases by 1 hr/month from 9 hr in December to 15 hr in June. Compute the length of the day on the 1st of each month of 570, in Rome and in Tours, and compare with these numbers. (Lecture on Medieval astronomy, p.17)
- Isidore of Sevilla around 600 stated that the Sun takes 32 days to pass through Gemini and 28 to pass through Sagittarius. Assume that each constellation partakes 30 degress from the Zodiac, with Aries beginning at the spring equinox, and then compute the time that the Sun takes to travel through each ocnstellation, in 600.
- Landgraf (1986, A&A 163, 246) gives the osculating elements of the orbit of the comet of Halley at different passages (Table 9, p.258). Select one passage, compute the geocentric position of the comet from 50 days before to 50 days after perihelium, and plot it among the stars. In which part(s) of the orbit was the comet visible from Utrecht (Leiden, Amsterdam or Groningen)?