HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » The 6,000-Year-Old Telesc...

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 10:38 AM

The 6,000-Year-Old Telescope

Telescopes as we know them today trace their origins back to the Enlightenment. The earliest such devices emerged about 400 years ago. But humankind has fashioned environments for stargazing for far longer than that.

Scholars have long speculated about the astronomical orientation of the Pyramids at Giza, for instance, and the possibility that Stonehenge was built to be a celestial observatory.

Now, there’s evidence of ancient telescopic structures that date back even farther, to about 6,000 years ago. Astronomers are exploring ancient tombs in Portugal that they believe may have been used by prehistoric humans to enhance specific views of the night skies. Researchers are focusing on the alignment of the stars with megalithic tombs—stone structures known as dolmens that feature long narrow entrances that act as apertures, essentially zooming in on stars and planets that wouldn’t always be visible from the outside. “These structures could therefore have been the first astronomical tools to support the watching of the skies, millennia before telescopes were invented,” the Royal Astronomical Society wrote in an statement announcing the research on Wednesday.



more
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/06/oldest-telescope/489362/

10 replies, 4130 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply The 6,000-Year-Old Telescope (Original post)
n2doc Jun 2016 OP
elljay Jun 2016 #1
malthaussen Jun 2016 #2
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2016 #3
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2016 #4
left-of-center2012 Jun 2016 #7
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2016 #9
tanyev Jun 2016 #5
Nitram Jun 2016 #6
DirkGently Jun 2016 #8
Angry Dragon Jul 2016 #10

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 11:41 AM

1. Camera Obscura, not Telescope

Different type of device, but still impressive at that time.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 11:55 AM

2. It's a poor analogy, IMO.

Not sure why they use it, since the plain facts are interesting enough.

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 12:38 PM

3. Not a telescope, doesn't "zoom", not even camera obscura (doesn't project). Just a cool tool. . nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 01:05 PM

4. I thought the earth was only 6000 years old.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 10:46 PM

7. That's what most of my siblings believe

Which had a lot to do with my 'conversion' to Buddhism 21 years ago.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 01:07 AM

9. I didn't have to convert. I was raised on reality.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 01:20 PM

5. Cooooool.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 02:55 PM

6. Perhaps better termed an "observatory."

Like the far more sophisticated ancient Indian Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur.

https://cpdarshi.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/ancient-indian-astronomy/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 11:06 PM

8. Saw this. Cool. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sat Jul 2, 2016, 12:04 PM

10. Neat

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread