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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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The Toledo Tables: hidden meaning in a table of latitudes and longitudes from the Middle Ages

Friday March 24, 2017
9:00 am

 Presenter:  John Huth, Donner Professor of Science
Harvard University
 Series:  Physics Seminars
 Abstract:  A conception of the geography of the earth was developed by the Ancient Greeks through Ptolemy, and then passed on to Arab scholars. They further developed tools such as spherical geometry. In the 11th century, an Almanac was published in Toledo, Spain, authored primarily by the astronomer al-Zarqali. The Almanac contains prescriptions for calculating planetary motions, and a table of latitudes and longitudes of far flung geographic locations known to the Arabic world at the time. I present an analysis of the precision of both the latitudes and longitudes, and also found a surprising location for the Prime Meridian used to reference longitude entries in the table.
 Web Site:    https:/ / en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Toledan_Tables
 Host:  James Thomas
 Location:  Room 190, Physics & Astronomy

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