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West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-07T17:05:01+00:00September 15th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

The constellation Orion From the Stone Age through the Islamic empires, great scientific discoveries have streamed out of West Asia. West Asia is one of the places where farming got started, and maybe the sailboat. The Sumerians developed the world's earliest system of writing, including the first way to write down numbers. They invented the wheel, using it as a pottery [...]

Ottoman science – astronomy and clocks

By |2018-04-25T23:04:52+00:00September 11th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

Taqi al-Din in his observatory Ottoman scholars built many libraries in Istanbul and in other cities of the Ottoman Empire. They translated many earlier books into Turkish or Arabic, like the works of the Roman astronomer Ptolemy. Ottoman scholars also continued to make their own new investigations. The mathematician Ali Qushji, for instance, came [...]

Science in Central America and South America

By |2018-04-11T18:24:13+00:00September 10th, 2017|Central America, Science, South America|

A rubber ball made by the Olmec people (about 1000 BC) With different natural resources available to them, the people of South America and Central America invented different things than the people of Europe, Asia, or Africa did. One early invention was rubber. The Olmec people invented rubber (in fact the word "Olmec" means "rubber people" in the Aztec language, Nahuatl). The Olmec began to [...]

Aztec gods and rituals – Central American religion

By |2017-09-09T23:48:53+00:00September 9th, 2017|Central America, Religion|

The Aztec god of seeds, Xipe Totec (ca 1500 AD) Aztec people, like the people of China, India, or Africa at this time, were polytheistic - they had many gods. Many of these gods were parts of nature. Coatlicue was the god of creation. Xipe Totec was the seeds to be planted, that would grow into food (like Persephone for the Greeks). Tlaloc [...]

Aztec language, writing, and literature

By |2017-09-09T23:39:39+00:00September 9th, 2017|Central America, Literature|

An Aztec book, or codex (ca 1500 AD) The Aztec system of writing was very much like the Maya system. Probably the Aztec people learned how to write from the Maya. Aztec writers wrote their literature in books, which folded like a fan. We call these books codices (one codex, two or more codices). Aztec writers [...]

History of astronomy – Science and space

By |2018-05-18T08:57:38+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies) Early astronomy The very earliest people, as early as six million years ago, knew much more about the moon and the planets and the stars than most people do today. That's because they lived mainly outside, without electric lights blocking out the sky, and they saw every night how the moon and [...]

Ptolemy – Roman astronomy – history of science

By |2018-04-11T09:22:19+00:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world Ptolemy was born in Egypt in about 90 AD, when the Romans were ruling Egypt. He was a Roman citizen. Probably he was the son or grandson of a Roman government slave - maybe a clerk - who was freed and got citizenship. As a boy, Ptolemy went to Greek schools in Alexandria and wrote in Greek. When [...]

Venus – Planets – Astronomy – Space science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

This is what the planet Venus looks like from space. Venus is the second planet away from our Sun - Mercury is closer to the Sun, and then the Earth is a little farther from the Sun. Like the Earth, Venus probably formed about four and a half billion years ago, out of space dust in the same nebula. Venus is [...]

Uranus – Planets – Astronomy – Space science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:18+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Uranus, the second to last planet out from the Sun Uranus is between Saturn and Neptune, so it's the next to the last planet away from our Sun. It takes Uranus 84 years to go around the Sun because it is so far away. Like the other planets going around our Sun, Uranus (YER-ann-uss) formed about 4.5 billion years [...]

Supernova – Space – Astronomy

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Supernova from space (thanks to NASA and the Hubble Telescope) What is a supernova? Supernovas are exploding stars. Red giant stars explode when they have used up their hydrogen and helium fuel, and converted most of their atoms to iron atoms. A red giant star explodes Red giant stars have a lot of gravity pulling them inward. Normally they don't collapse inward because the nuclear [...]