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Patterns In The Sky Essay

3921 words - 16 pages

Patterns in the SkyThesis Statement: Constellations were devised by man to help them from the simplest thing, such as telling stories, to things that are important to our lives today, such as determining time.IntroductionWe are always filled with countless questions about Earth and everything that is beyond it. Do you remember as a child when you just paused for a while and stared up at the night sky filled with hundreds and thousands of bright, twinkling lights? These are the stars we so often sing about in the nursery song 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', but are these stars really little? Due to curiosity, people studied stars and everything beyond the Earth, the people who study the ...view middle of the document...

They also applied other sciences such as Mathematics to explain further ideas and to deepen their understanding of the celestial bodies they see in the skies. Coming up with models or representations of the universe based on their observations of the sky lead to more ideas and discoveries in Astronomy. One great step is the debunking of the theory that the Earth was flat (Bennett 10).Components of Astronomy by GPNManloctaoOne scope of astronomy is the study of the stars. Narrowing it down a bit, we can identify patterns in the sky which are usually composed of bright stars which are referred to by astronomers as constellations. Astronomy is not just focused only with the stars, but also studies other heavenly bodies like the moon, planets, comets, asteroids and many more. The scope of its studies is not just limited to the positions of the stars and other heavenly bodies, or its distance from this planet or that system, but it also studies the magnitude of a star's brightness, the age of such heavenly bodies, and also how it affects us humans. The movement and changes happening in the heavens and outer space are what concerns the study of astronomy. Astronomy may not have a large impact in today's living but during the time of the ancients studying the stars are as important as studying the history of one's country.Definition and Naming Constellations by LJHVillavicencioPeople of ancient societies and of different cultures identified patterns in the sky. It is human nature to seek order in what we see, so as the ancient people gazed upon the stars at night, they made arrangements of the stars through their imaginations in patterns which often resembled animals or mythical creatures (Arny 15). These patterns are what we refer to as constellations. It is true that the patterns do not really resemble the images of the names they have, but the images are not supposed to be taken literally for they contain a symbolic meaning. To the ancient people, constellations were projections of human imagination in the hopes of portraying the deeds of mythical creatures and deities which depict moral tales (Ridpath 2-3) and they saw constellations as "loose grouping of stars that represented a certain figure, and constellation boundaries were not precisely defined" (Seeds 18). Many of the names of the constellations are related to the projected image the ancient people came up with. Ancient Greeks are the ones pointed out as where the names and shapes of the constellations came from although they did not really come from them. They got the names and shapes from "older civilizations at the eastern end of the Mediterranean." (Berman 16). There is no sure meaning to the names given to constellations but it is believed that the names served as mnemonic devices to easily remember and to identify the seasons and for navigation (Arny 24). Although, constellations are not formed and named after certain characters and animals just because the group of stars form the same...

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