Chapter

Sunspots before the telescope

in On Sunspots

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226707150
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226707174 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226707174.003.0002
Sunspots before the telescope

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This chapter discusses observations about the sunspots before the invention of the telescope. Far Eastern observers have noted sunspots and their records date back to at least 165 B.C. The observational record of the sunspots is much less complete in the West because the Aristotelian dogma of the perfection of the heavens provided no conceptual rubric for sunspots. The earliest Western references to sunspots are attributed to Theophrastus of Eresus in the fourth century B.C. and in Virgil's Georgics.

Keywords: Far Eastern observers; Aristotelian dogma; perfection of the heavens; Theophrastus of Eresus; Virgil; Georgics

Chapter.  5892 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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