HHS 368 History of Astronomy

This course surveys the trajectory of human thought and technological mastery that leads from prehistory down to astronomy and cosmology today. The West was not the only civilization possessed of sophisticated astronomical systems, and the course pauses to examine the cases of astronomy in non-Western cultures. The Scientific Revolution and the acceptance of heliocentrism are historical turning points that receive particular attention in looking at astronomy and physics from Copernicus through Newton. The many normal science advances in astronomy in the 18th and 19th centuries receive treatment before the course turns to the 20th century and revolutionary work that led to modern astrophysics and Big Bang cosmology. The course also treats the state of the current research in astronomy and astronomy as a social institution and profession.




Humanities and Social Sciences Program