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Astronomy 2

Vedic

Vedic Contribution to World Astronomy and MathematicsSage Aryabhatt (Born 476 CE) wrote texts on astronomy and mathematics. He formulated the process of calculating the motion of planets and the time of eclipses. Aryabhatt was the first to proclaim the earth was round, rotating on an axis, orbiting the sun and suspended in space. This was around 1,000 years before Copernicus.

He was a geometry genius credited with calculating pi to four decimal places, developing the trigonometric sine table and the area of a triangle. Perhaps his most important contribution was the concept of the zero. Details are found in Shulva Sutra. Other sages of mathematics include Baudhayana, Katyayana, and Apastamba. Astronomy, geography, constellation science, botany and animal science.

Varahamihr (499 - 587 CE) was another eminent astronomer. In his book, Panschsiddhant, he noted that the Moon and Planets shine due to the Sun. Many of his other contributions captured in his books Bruhad Samhita and Bruhad Jatak, were in the fields of geography, constellation science, botany and animal science. For example he presented cures for various diseases of plants and trees. Knowledge of botany (Vrksh-Ayurveda) dates back more than 5,000 years, discussed in India's Rig Veda.

Sage Parashara (3000 BCE) is called the "father of botany" because he classified flowering plants into various families, nearly 2,000 years before Lannaeus (the modern father of taxonomy). Parashara described plant cells - the outer and inner walls, sap color-matter and something not visible to the eye - anvasva. Nearly 2,000 years - later Robert Hooke, using a microscope described the outer and inner wall and sap color matter. Algebra, arithmetic and geometry, planetary positions, eclipses, cosmography, mathematical techniques and the force of gravity In the field of mathematics, Bhaskaracharya II (1114 - 1183 CE) contributed to the fields of algebra, arithmetic and geometry.

Two of his most well known books are Lilavati and Bijaganita, which are translated in several languages of the world. In his book, Siddhant Shiromani, he expounds on planetary positions, eclipses, cosmography, and mathematical techniques. Another of his books, Surya Siddhant discusses the force of gravity, 500 years before Sir Isaac Newton. Sage Sridharacharya developed the Quadratic Equation around 991 CE.


Hindu

The Hindu Samavat In India, they are numerous era systems in use. The Kali Era, Vikram Era, Saka Era, and the Kollam Era are several of the era systems being followed today by different parts of the country.

The Hindu year for the Kali era system begins when the Sun and Moon enters into Chaitra at the exact degree, to start the first New Tithi of the month. Vikram Samvat The Vikram Era started with Raja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, following his victory over the Saka in 56 B.C. The new year begins with the first day of Kartik following Deepavali Amavasya.

For Gujarat - The current (2004) Vikram Samvat is 2048. The Month (Masa) Solar and Lunar In India, several states use a Solar- year calendar while others use the lunar-solar year calendar. In all states the lunar calendars is still used to determine dates for the religious festivals and selecting auspicious times for beginning socio – religious activities. Indian Calendar uses both the solar month and lunar month and is known as a "Lunar-Solar calendar."

For civil purposes and modern convinces, the use of the Gregorian Year which follows neither the Solar month nor a lunar system, is used for some kind of uniform system throughout the world. The Jyotisha Vedanga or the Lunar - Solar calendars of ancient India are made up from a cycle of 60 years. Each year has a name and the name gives the character & nature of that year. The Name of the Year Each name suggests the general feeling of the year it denotes. For example the year 5086 (1984) was know as Raktakshi, "one with red eyes." The 5087 (1985) with Krodhana, "the year of anger" etc.

The Half Year Ayana Each year is divided into two halves, known as Ayana. Uttarayana begins on the day of winter solstice, normally January 11 - 12th , when Sun begins its apparent Northward journey. Dakshinayana begins on the first day of the summer solstice, normally around June 14, making the Sun's Southward movement. The two days commencing two Ayanas are considered sacred and known as Punya - Kala "times of great merit."

Leap Month Adhik (Purushottam) Masa Since the calendar is based on the phases of Moon, the transits take 354 days, 8 hours and 34.28 secs. This creates a difference of 10 days, 21 hours and 35.16 seconds from the actual solar year (365 days, 6 hours, 9.54 seconds) When the accumulated difference exceeds 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.865 seconds, an adjustment is made with an extra month (Adhik Masa), which carries name of the previous or next month, depending on proximity of the month. Normally, seven extra months occur in 19yrs. The Solar Calendar. This begins with Vernal Equinox, when the Sun comes in Aries Sign.

The 12 months, known as the Saur Masa, correspond to the entry of Sun into Aries sign. The 1st month of lunar calendar, Chaitra, corresponds to the Solar month of Aries. The Aries Month begins on or close to 12th day of April, and this day is celebrated as New Year Day known as Vaishakhi or Yugadhi. Makar Sankranti, which corresponds to the entry of the Sun into Makar Rasi, the sign of Capricorn, occurs on January 11- 12th every year.

Grishma Ritu, commencing at the start of Mithun Rasi (Gemini in mid June) is the "hot summer." The Raining season, Varsha Ritu, begins in Simha Rasi (Leo mid August). Sara Ritu, the season of fruits, begins in Thula Rasi (Libra mid October). Hemantha Ritu, the cold season begins in mid December. Sisir Ritu, the last season of the year, begins in the Kumbha Rasi (Aquarius mid February). The Solar Calendar. This begins with Vernal Equinox, when the Sun comes in Aries Sign. The 12 months, known as the Saur Masa, correspond to the entry of Sun into Aries sign.

The 1st month of lunar calendar, Chaitra, corresponds to the Solar month of Aries. The Aries Month begins on or close to 12th day of April, and this day is celebrated as New Year Day known as Vaishakhi or Yugadhi. Makar Sankranti, which corresponds to the entry of the Sun into Makar Rasi, the sign of Capricorn, occurs on January 11- 12th every year. Grishma Ritu, commencing at the start of Mithun Rasi (Gemini in mid June) is the "hot summer."

The Raining season, Varsha Ritu, begins in Simha Rasi (Leo mid August). Sara Ritu, the season of fruits, begins in Thula Rasi (Libra mid October). Hemantha Ritu, the cold season begins in mid December. Sisir Ritu, the last season of the year, begins in the Kumbha Rasi (Aquarius mid February).

Life has been a great mystery to mankind. Its origin, growth, dependence and disappearance have always exercised their thoughts and emotions. Through observations and experiences and throughout the ages ancient Hindus realized that life is a science like any other in this world. It requires cultivation and refinement. Men today are preoccupied with building implements for the destruction of life rather than finding what governs the laws which create, control and sustain life.

Jewish

Jewish Calendar - A luni-solar calendar is used mainly for religious purposes. A Daily reminder for Jewish holidays and also to determine appropriate public reading of Torah portions, Yahrzeits (dates to commemorate the birth or death of a relative), daily Psalm reading, or other ceremonial uses.

The Christians, follow luni-solar calendar system for fixing the dates for celebrating most of their important festivals. Christmas is celebrated on a fixed day with reference to the solar Gregorian calendar, which is 25th December.

But equally important, perhaps more so for the Church, is the festival of Easter, which is the anniversary day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, two days earlier, which is reckoned to be Friday, and is called by the Christian as Good Friday. The resurrection thus happened on Sunday and is known to be Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ was crucified on the day of the feast of the Jewish Passover festival which falls on the 14th day of the month of Nissan in Jewish lunisolar calendar.

On this basis, Easter Day is reckoned to be the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs in Phalgun month of the calendar. Consideration is given not only to the positions of the Sun and Moon, but also in addition of the occurrence of a particular week day, which is Sunday, and one may find as results in this festival oscillating between 22 March and 25 April of every year. Important Festivals in the Christian calendar are movable dates, apart from Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

GuideLine

  Religion and Belief Equality Scheme? The Scheme packages the requirements of the European Directive on Religion into a coherent strategy and action plan. It covers all relevant functions and policies, bringing them within a single framework.

This scheme reinforces and commitment, recognizing the unique and significant role that faith has in the life and cohesion of our diverse local and global community. Taking a joined up perspective to equality - linking religion and belief equality actions to the other five priority equality strands: age, race, gender (including trans-gender), sexual orientation, and disability. 

With regard to any particular festival, the guiding principle is how broadly the different segments of that religion accept the festival. The festivals noted in Multi Faith Calendar are annual events that people celebrate once during the course of a solar or lunar year. Other cycles of time are also important: the new or full moon, a season, a week day (for example, the Jewish Shabbat or the Friday prayers in a mosque), or a daily cycle (such as the Eucharist for traditional Christian communities). While these cycles are less obvious, they are as important to the faithful as annual festivals.

The ancient astronomy, affecting astrological beliefs, cannot be dismissed simply because many of them go against conventional beliefs and customs but, being in natural law merits serious study and debate. The Modern Calendar makers are copying the eclipse timing and other Information from modern astronomical ephemeris thus concealing the fact that their calendar timing are inaccurate.

Solar calendars measure time according to the Sun, lunar calendars according to the Moon, while lunisolar calendars measure time using a combination of Sun and the Moon. The western world is most familiar with the Gregorian solar calendar, now used internationally for business.

Spherical astronomy, that branch of astronomy which deals with the directions of celestial objects, the relations between those directions, and the transformation of coordinate systems from one form to another by means of spherical trigonometry.

One of the oldest branches of astronomy, it is still one of the most useful but now includes such topics as spherical trigonometry, the celestial sphere and coordinate systems, and the correction of observational data to remove the effects of atmospheric refraction, stellar aberration, parallax, precession, and nutation.

It is often sufficient to know the direction of celestial objects and for this reason spherical astronomy is concerned with the projections of these objects on to the celestial sphere. Nevertheless spherical astronomy, with its emphasis on spherical trigonometry, is also concerned with the tracking of artificial satellites and interplanetary probes, and is therefore an essential part of the modern topics of astrodynamics and space research.

Newton

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727), British mathematician and physicist, the greatest single influence on theoretical physics until Albert Einstein. He was most productive during the period 1666-7 (which he called his annus mirabilis), during which he laid the foundations of his future successes in mathematics, optics, dynamics (mechanics), and astronomy.

He discovered the binomial theorem, and made contributions to algebra, geometry, and the theory of infinite series, all somewhat overshadowed by his most famous contribution to mathematics--the differential calculus (his 'method of fluxions') for finding rates of change of varying quantities, and his discovery of its relationship with what is now called integration (then 'quadrature'), the problem of finding the area of a figure circumscribed by curved boundaries.

A bitter quarrel with the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz ensued, as to which of them had discovered calculus first. His optical experiments, begun in 1666, led to his discovery that white light is made up of a mixture of coloured rays. He applied his knowledge of optics to the production of the first reflecting telescope in 1668. He became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1669.

In his major treatise, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1686-7), widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest science books ever written, he gave a mathematical description of the laws of mechanics (see Newton's Laws of Motion) and gravitation, and applied this theory to explain planetary and lunar motion. Newton's Law of Gravitation is central to his work on astronomy.

It states that the force between any two bodies in the universe is proportional to the product of the masses of the two bodies divided by the square of the distance separating them. He also proved that the gravitational effect of a three-dimensional body such as a planet is equivalent to that of its total mass concentrated at a point at its centre. He used his theory to account for the polar flattening of the Earth, the precession of the equinoxes, the revolution of the lunar line of nodes, and also to measure the mass of the Sun and those planets that have moons.

He proved that any body moving in space subject to a single central force moves on a conic, such as an ellipse, and he went on to devise a method of calculating cometary orbits. For most purposes Newtonian mechanics has survived even the 20th-century introduction of relativity theory and quantum mechanics (to both of which theories it stands as a first, but very good, approximation) as a mathematical description of terrestrial and cosmological phenomena.

In 1699 Newton was appointed Master of the Mint, and was responsible for an urgently needed reform of the coinage, and in 1703 was elected President of the Royal Society, whose reputation he greatly increased over the following twenty-four years. Newton interested himself also in alchemy, astrology, and theology, and attempted a biblical chronology. He was involved in several bitter controversies with fellow scientists.

Month, in astronomy, a period of time related to the Moon's orbit about the Earth. Five months of different lengths can be defined:  synodic month or lunation, the time between successive similar geometric positions of Sun, Moon, and Earth; for example, the time between successive new moons;  sidereal month, the time it takes the Moon to rotate once round the Earth with respect to the stellar background;  anomalistic month, the time between successive passages of the Moon through perigee;  tropical month, the time between successive passages of the Moon through the vernal equinox;  nodical or draconitic month, the time between successive passages of the Moon through the same node.

In civil usage the month is any of usually twelve periods of time into which the year is divided, or any period between the same dates in successive such portions. The primitive calendar month of ancient nations began on the day of a new moon or the day after, and thus coincided (except for fractions of a day) with the synodic month. However, the number of synodic months in a year is not a whole number, so many civilizations found it desirable to divide the calendar year into an integral number of shorter periods, and the synodic months were superseded by a series of twelve periods each having a fixed number of days.

In the Julian calendar the months in a leap year had alternately 31 and 30 days while in other years February had only 29 instead of 30. Under Augustus this symmetrical arrangement was broken up by the transference of one day from February to August, and one from September and November to October and December, respectively, producing the system of months now in use.

Rotation, in astronomy, usually the turning of a celestial object about an axis fixed in it, as for example the rotation of the Earth once in 24 hours. The time taken for one complete rotation with respect to the stellar background is the sidereal period of rotation. Many of the solar system's satellites have periods of rotation equal to their periods of revolution about their planets. This means that these motions are synchronous.

Twilight, in astronomy, the two periods, in the morning and the evening, when the Sun is set, but the centre of its disc is less than 18 degrees below the horizon. Near midsummer, astronomical twilight lasts continuously all night at latitudes greater than about 48.5 degrees, as then, even at midnight, the Sun is less than 18 degrees below the horizon.
The above definition is precise but arbitrary; other definitions are possible. For civil twilight the Sun's centre must be not more than 6 degrees below the horizon, whereas for nautical twilight, not more than 12 degrees.

Islamic

Figh Council of North America Decided on Astronomical Calculations For Islamic Dates
The Fiqh Council of North America is an independent body, comprised of qualified Islamic scholars in North America. The Council communicates with experts and consultants to meet expected needs for rulings and advice in various areas of Islamic life in North America.

ISNA’s Majlis Ash-Shura, the highest policy making body of ISNA, has resolved to follow the Fiqh Council’s position on the issue of determining the beginning of the Islamic lunar months for North America. According to the scientific criteria for determining the Islamic Lunar dates adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America, the last day of Ramadan will be Sunday, October 22 and Ist of Shawwal is on Monday, October 23, 2006.

We hope this Multifaith Digitial Calendar eBook will broaden the understanding and acceptance of alternate paths of spirituality consistent with what most people presently regard as Authentic religious festivals. Religious or Faith movements, sects and even festivals appear and disappear...

Occasionally, one will endure and a significant segment of society will recognize it as a legitimate spiritual path or celebration. Eventually, the larger society may lend its approval. Of course, contemporary views of what are socially defined as religion, denomination, or sect may also change in the future. In these cases, future editions may well include religions, denominations and sects not presently included.

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