Early History of Astronomy in the World
Astronomy in ancient India was very advanced and well developed at that time. There were many Indian people who were the genius of astronomy in the world. Before going to Ancient India let us know some of the laws or model which were made by different scientists of the world.
Earlier astronomy was based on the model in which Earth was believed to be at the center of the universe, and all other planets and objects were supposed to orbit around it.
It was also believed that Earth remained at its stationary position and all the stars, planets revolved around it.
But, in the 16th century a new astronomical model called Heliocentric model was developed. This model was somewhat same as the model which we see today.
Kepler’s Law of Planetary Motion
Johannes Kepler who was born in 1571 proposed his law of planetary motion. After studying the motion of planets and about cosmos. He proposed his law which was later proved by Newton that Kepler’s law can be derived from Newton’s law of gravitation.
Kepler’s First Law
All planets revolve around the Sun in elliptical orbits with the Sun at one of the foci of the ellipse.
Kepler’s Second Law
The line joining a planet to the Sun sweeps out equal areas in equal interval of time in the orbital plane of the planet.
Kepler’s Third Law
The square of the time period of revolutions of a planet around the sun, is directly proportional to the cube of the semi – major axis of the orbit.
Astronomy in Ancient India
Now, I will tell you some hidden secrets or unknown facts about ancient India.
Long before Kepler formulated his Laws of Planetary Motion, the study and understanding of the planetary motion was very developed in ancient India.
The great Scientist, Aryabhata (476-550), propounded a planetary model in which the Earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with the respect to the Sun.
He accurately calculated the periods of the planet, times of the occurrence of solar eclipse and lunar eclipse, and the motion of the moon.
Many other Indian scientists also did a great job in the field of astronomy. I am also going to tell you about the work of other Indian scientist.
Nilakantha Somayaji (1444-1544), wrote a book Aryabhatiyabhasya which was a commentary on Aryabhata’s Aryabhatia and he also wrote about his research which he did in the field of astronomy. He developed a computational system for a partially heliocentric planetary model which was later proposed by the other scientists of different countries.
In this model he told that the planets orbit the Sun, which in turn orbits the Earth which was very similar to the Tychonic system which was later proposed by Tycho Brahe in the late 16th century.
In his another book named Tantrasangraha, he further revised his planetary system, which was mathematically more accurate at predicting the heliocentric orbits of the interior planets.
Nilakantha Somayaji’s planetary system also told that the Earth rotates on its own axis.
Many other ancient Indian thinkers and Philosophers realized the force of gravitation and its importance and significance much before the Newton. But the credit for formulating a, quantitative law, must go to Newton.
These laws and the models which were proposed by Indian Scientists long time before the other scientists are not known to everyone. Only 2-5% of the people in the world know about these hidden secrets of ancient Indian astronomy.
We should never forget that the first civilization of the world was in India. India was very advanced at earlier time in every field like medical, astronomy, education etc. Many foreign students earlier came to India to educate themselves.
Status of Indian Astronomy in 2017
But now, India is again growing at a high rate in astronomy field. ISRO India’s space agency is now making many world records in the astronomy field. ISRO has currently launched 104 satellites at one go and made a world record.
ISRO is also planning to launch MOM 2 (Mars Orbiter Mission 2) with rover, lander and orbiter and a mission to Venus and Moon (Chandrayan 2), which will consist of a rover, lander and orbiter.
ISRO is well known for launching its spacecrafts at very cheap price. ISRO has also gained about 20-25% space commercial market.
Do comment What do you think about India and ISRO?