ASTRONOMICAL

, something relating to Astronomy.

Astronomical Calendar, Characters, Column, Horizon, Hours, Month, Quadrant, Ring-Dial, Sector, Tables, Telescope, Time, Year. See the several substantives.

Astronomical Observations. Of these there are records, or mention, in almost all ages. It is said that the Chinese have observations for a course of many thousand years. But of these, as well as those of the Indians, we have never yet had any benefit. But the observations of most of the other ancients, as Babylonians, Greeks, &c, amongst which those of Hipparchus make a principal figure, are carefully preserved by Ptolemy, in his Almagest.

About the year 880, Albategni, a Saracen, applied himself to the making of observations; in which he was followed by others of the same nation, as well as Persians and Tartars; among whom were Nassir-EddinEttusi, Arzachel, who also constructed a table of sines, and Ulug Beigh. In 1457 Regiomontanus undertook the province at Norimberg; and his disciples, J. Werner and Ber. Walther, continued the same from 1475 to 1504. Their observations were published together in 1544.—In 1509, Copernicus, and after him the landgrave of Hesse, with his assistants Rothman and Byrge, observed; and after them Tycho Brahe, assisted by the celebrated Kepler, from 1582 to 1601.—All the foregoing observations, together with Tycho's apparatus of instruments, are contained in the Historia Cœlestis, published in 1672, by order of the emperor Ferdinand.—In 1651, was published at Bononia, by Ricciolus, Almagestum Novum, being a complete body of ancient and modern observations, which he so named after the work of the same nature by Ptolemy.—Soon after, Hevelius, with a magnificent and well-contrived apparatus of instruments, described in his Machina Cœlestis, began a course of observations. It has been objected to him, that he only used plain sights, and could never be brought to take the advantage of telescopic ones; which occasioned Dr. Hook to write animadversions on Hevelius's instruments, printed in 1674, in which he too rashly despises them, on account of their inaccuracy: but Dr. Halley, who at the instance of the Royal Society went over to Dantzick in the year 1679, to inspect his instruments, approved of their justness, as well as of the observations made with them. See Sights.—Our two countrymen Jer. Horrox and Will. Crabtree, are celebrated for their observations from the year 1635 to 1645, who first observed the transit of Venus over the sun in the year 1639.—They were followed by Flamsteed, Cassini the father and son, Halley, de la Hire, Roemer, and K irchius.—The observations of the celebrated Dr. Bradley have not yet been published, though long expected. We have also now published, from time to time, the accurate observations of the present British Astronomer Royal: as also those of the French and other observatories, with the observations of many ingenious private astronomers, which are to be found in the Transactions and Memoirs of the various Philosophical Societies.—There have been also observations of many other eminent astronomers; as, Galileo, Huygens, and our countryman Harriot, whose very interesting observations have lately been brought to light by the earl of Egremont, and count Bruhl, by whose means they may come to be published. Other publications of celestial observations, are those of Cassini, La Caille, Monnier, &c.—See farther under Celestial Observations, Catalogue, Observatory, &c.

Astronomical Place of a star or planet, is its longitude, or place in the ecliptic, reckoued from the beginning of Aries, in consequentia, or according to the order of the signs.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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ASTROLABE
ASTROLOGER
ASTROLOGICAL
ASTROLOGY
ASTROMETEOROLOGIA
* ASTRONOMICAL
ASTRONOMICALS
ASTRONOMY
ASTROSCOPE
ASTROSCOPIA
ASTROTHEMATA