Observation of Celestial Phenomena in Ancient China

Reference work entry


Because of the need for calendar-making and portent astrology, the Chinese were diligent and meticulous observers of celestial phenomena. China has maintained the longest continuous historical records of celestial phenomena in the world. Extraordinary or abnormal celestial events were particularly noted because of their astrological significance. The historical records cover various types of celestial phenomena, which include solar and lunar eclipses, sunspots, “guest stars” (novae or supernovae as we understand today), comets and meteors, and all kinds of planetary phenomena. These records provide valuable historical data for astronomical studies today.


Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse Sunspot Observation Tail Point Ancient Chinese Literature 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the History of Natural ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesXichengChina

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