Celestial Ethiopia: from Ancient to contemporary is a documentation of the role of Ethiopia and its perople in shaping cosmology, mythology and modern astronomy. We solict scientific documents, links to resources and views from experts in the field archeoastronomy, phylosphy and anthropology. We are particularly interested between the relationship between African mythologies and Greco-Roman thoughts.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Magnitude Scale

"The Ethiopians have a tradition that when the sun was first made its
light was twelve times as strong as it is today. The angels complained
that the heat was too strong, and that it hampered them in the
performance of their duties, whereupon God divided it into twelve
parts; and took away six of these parts, and out of three of them He
made the moon and stars, and the other three He distributed among the
waters, the clouds, and the lightning" (The cave treasures).

According to this, Ethiopians knew only the visual magnitudes, they
did not consider distance.

The visual magnitude is a measure of how bright a celestial object
appears as seen from earth. It is a very subjective scale. The
absolute magntude is a measure of how bright a celestial object
appears if it were 10 Parsecs away, or 32.6 light years. Now if we
move the sun to 10 parsecs, we may not be able to see it. At this time
it is only 8 light minutes away from here or , 15 millionth of a light
year. Just imagine the brightness of a 100 Watt light bulb at 1 meter
versus the brightness of the same bulb at 1 million meters.

We need to find out how or why Ethiopians did not care about
distances. It is possible that such mythologies may have their roots
in ancient cultures such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, but it defies logic
why Ethiopians did not worry about distances


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