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Explorations of the Universe

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Traverse Atlantic = time it now takes to cross the inner Solar System. ... Exploration doesn't necessarily make a society open and tolerant. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Explorations of the Universe


1
Explorations of the Universe
  • Travelers Tales

2
Comparisons to Early Sail Voyages
  • 15th century Spain to the Azores the travel
    time now from the Earth to the Moon
  • Traverse Atlantic time it now takes to cross
    the inner Solar System.
  • 17th and 18th centuries to reach China time to
    send a spacecraft to Jupiter
  • In comparison to resources, it cost more to send
    sailing ships around the world than to send
    spacecraft to the planets.

3
The "Passion to explore"
  • Ancient Phoenecians the voyage around Africa may
    or may not have taken place, but they did reach
    Britain and colonize the western Mediterranean.
  • Renaissance Europe
  • Ming Dynasty China
  • Polynesia

4
Possible Other Examples
  • Early Irish Missionaries
  • Medieval Arab seafarers and land travelers
    (Al-Idrisi, Ibn-Battuta)
  • The Mongols of the 13th century
  • The Vikings

5
Counter-Examples
  • The Romans had a mind-numbing lack of interest in
    geography. They never went into the Baltic, or
    explored Ireland, or penetrated Eastern Europe.
  • Black Africans never discovered the Cape Verde
    Islands or Madagascar.

6
More Counter-Examples
  • The voyages of Ming China stand out precisely
    because China, throughout most of its history,
    has been strongly isolationist, with very little
    interest in exploration.
  • The many cultures of India produced very few
    explorers.

7
Why Explore?
  • Cultures strapped for resources or fearful of
    change may migrate, but don't explore just to see
    what is there.
  • Cultures convinced of their own superiority or
    self-sufficiency (Rome, China) feel little need
    to explore.

8
Exploring for Prestige
  • The voyages of Ming China were an expression of
    its self-confidence and superiority they were
    undertaken precisely to show other societies the
    greatness of China.
  • A good parallel the round-the-world voyage of
    the U.S. Navy's "Great White Fleet" about 1900.

9
Exploring for Curiosity is Rare
  • Europe's exploratory burst was driven in part by
    a desire to cut out the middlemen in foreign
    trade, but also driven in part by sheer
    curiosity.
  • Others
  • possibly the Vikings
  • some Mongol expeditions
  • some Arab travelers
  • possibly some Polynesians

10
Why is This Important?
  • A common criticism of education is it stifles
    curiosity
  • Are people really curious?
  • Would we have gone into space without military
    pressures?
  • If Vietnam hadnt provided a motive, would we
    have dismantled Apollo anyway just to buy more
    consumer goods?

11
The 17th Century Dutch Republic
  • A single human lifetime encompasses the events of
    Episode 3, Harmony of the Worlds and the Holland
    portrayed in this episode
  • What a difference in outlook!
  • Sagan uses the old Amsterdam Town Hall as a
    symbol of the new world-view.
  • Dispelled the Gothic squint and squalor of the
    Middle Ages

12
Does exploration equal openness?
  • Holland most open society of the time
  • England and France next
  • Spain, Portugal, and Russia ( pushing across Asia
    to the Pacific) were active exploring powers but
    positively repressive.
  • Spain's glory days as an exploring power were far
    behind by this time.

13
Exploration and Openness
  • Democracy, tolerance and moderation can encourage
    exploration, but it's not a simple equation.
  • Exploration doesn't necessarily make a society
    open and tolerant.
  • Travel broadens some people but narrows others,
    convincing them of their own inherent
    superiority.
  • Some highly democratic societies like Norway or
    Switzerland did not explore at all.

14
The Discoveries of Christian Huygens
  • First person to see a surface feature on Mars
  • First person to understand Saturn's ring
  • First person to understand that Venus is covered
    with clouds
  • Discoverer of Titan, Saturn's largest satellite.
  • Inventor of pendulum clock.
  • Builder of numerous planetarium models.

15
Why the Long-tube Telescopes?
16
Jupiter
  • Jupiters geologic features are all atmospheric.

17
Moons of Jupiter
  • Io is the most active body in the Solar System.

18
Moons of Jupiter
  • All these worlds are yours except Europa

19
Moons of Jupiter
  • Ganymede and Callisto are two of the larger
    bodies in the Solar System.

20
Saturn
  • Saturn is the furthest out of the historical
    planets.

21
Saturns moons
22
Uranus moons
  • Uranus was discovered to have rings in 1977.

23
Uranus moons
  • Uranus orbits the Sun on its side.

24
Neptune moons
25
Pluto/Charon
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