This fall all World History I students learned about Babylonian astronomy, its significance in antiquity, and its foundational impact. Students did the math to see how the Babylonians used the phases of the Moon and the position of the Sun to devise an impressively accurate calendar. Through their keen and systematic observations of the natural world, the ancient observers of the heavens began the great enterprise of Science.
We were able to do some quick observing during class using glasses that are safe for direct solar viewing. These glasses filter out so much of the Sun’s light that only a sharp, orange disc is left. Students were able to see the huge sunspot in Active Region 12192, one of the largest sunspot groups in recorded history. The Babylonians would have loved a pair of these!
Thank you to Mr. Villaamil, Mr. Johnson, and their students for collaborating with the Observatory.