Chinese Astronomy

A "guest star" was seen by the Chinese in 1054. The supernova explosion was witnessed in the area of Earth's sky where today we see an expanding gas cloud that we call Crab Nebula. The "guest star" was so bright it was visible in daylight.

The most dramatic supernova was observed in the year 1006 AD. It appeared in May as a brilliant point of light visible during the day. It was bright enough to cast shadows on the ground during the night. Because astronomers have never seen this be4 it was refered to as a ?guest star?.

dark, usually irregularly shaped spots on the sun's surface that are actually solar magnetic storms. The Chinese recorded dark features on the sun seen with the naked eye in 28 B.C.

Sunspots are not permanent since the sun's surface is gaseous. Because the sun rotates on its axis, a sunspot cannot be observed continuously for more than about two weeks

Sunspot activity produces various disturbances on earth-these include magnetic storms which manifest themselves as aurorae, interference with radio reception and electric power grids, and disturbances of the magnetic compass

mankind's first record of an eclipse of the Sun was made in China in 2136 BC. Chinese could predict eclipses by analyzing the motions of the moon

There are Chinese records of comet halley going back to at least 240 BC

Comets are a mixture of ices and dust and orbit around the solar system

When they get near the sun, the ice melts, leaving behind a tail.

Zhengtong, a Ming Dynasty ruler of China from 1436-1449,

He employed court astronomers to record, analyse and interpret astronomical data.

had the Ancient Beijing Observatory built at the southeast corner of the old city wall. A 46-ft.-high platform held eight Qing Dynasty bronze astronomical instruments. Two were built in 1439 and six in 1673.

. In the 4th century BC Kan Te described sunspots for the first time.

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