Supremely Educated Knower of Everything in Existence
Joined:06 Aug 2006
Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:50 AM
Clobhair-cean, on 06 December 2012 - 10:22 AM, said:
Firstly, how on Earth could ancient civilisations know more about the cosmos than we do, without radio telescopes, satellites, advanced astronomy and modern physics? It makes no sense, they didn't even have binoculars.
Dude, you know the universe is expanding, right?
So, everything was closer to Earth back then and easier to see.
Rather suspected a source along this line. You may wish to conduct further research into the topic. Temple would not be considered to be the most qualified of references. At least part of this misinformation stems from the misinterpretation of the Dogon "ethnographic studies" conducted by Griaule:
The primary source for Adams' information is really Robert Temple's The Sirius Mystery which argues that amphibious beings from a superior civilization in the Sirius system taught astronomy to the Dogon. Temple's sole source is one informant in long term conversation with Marcel Griaule, but Van Beek and other anthropologists say the Dogon do not have the Sirius B legend, although Sirius A itself is an important part of the mythology. (Emphasis added).
Specially trained people under optimal conditions can see 7.8. However, Sirius B is 8.7 which is 2 1/2 times dimmer because the scale is logarithmic. The glare due to Sirius A requires the use of at least a 5-inch telescope to see Sirius B at its maximum separation; at its closest approach, about half the time, a minimum of a 100-inch telescope is needed (Schaefer 1991, 1995). Even if Sirius B were bright enough to be seen, it could not be distinguished by a naked eye because it is too close to Sirius A. The average separation between Sirius A and B is 9.5 seconds of arc (Allen 1973: 240) with a maximum separation of 11 seconds. However, a person with 20/20 vision can only distinguish two points of light that are at least 42 seconds apart, i.e. four times the separation of Sirius A and B (Schaefer 1995).