Sunday, February 3, 2008

Anaxagoras Explains Eclipses

Anaxagoras (ca. 500–ca. 428 B.C.E.) believed that the earth was flat, but speculated that the sun was a large, red-hot body and that the moon was much like the earth, complete with mountains and ravines. Most important, Anaxagoras theorized that solar eclipses were caused by the passage of the moon between the sun and the earth. His was the first explanation of an eclipse that didn’t involve the supernatural and certainly didn’t summon up any dragons.

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