Two Greek mathematicians pioneered research to navigate and map the Earth. Eratosthenes of Cyrene, chief librarian at the Ancient Library of Alexandria, calculated the circumference of the Earth in the third century B.C. In the second century B.C., Hipparchus of Nicea first used mathematics to calculate latitude and longitude, invented the first astrolabe to observe stars and measure latitude, and observed lunar eclipses to propose longitudes for specific cities.Know More
Not much is known about the work of Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, but what little survives is evidence of how people long ago thought to organize maps into standardized grids. Because Eratosthenes had discovered the circumference of the Earth, Hipparchus could work from his calculations to establish a line of zero latitude (the equator) and lines of longitude. Through his own observations, Hipparchus learned how to measure latitude by observing the movement of stars over time, and he proposed a system of timed measurements to calculate longitude.
Later, Ptolemy was the first to use a constant meridian for drawing maps. Early in the 18th century, English clockmaker John Harrison developed the chronometer, which compensated for ships’ pitch and roll, humidity and other factors. Coupled with accurate star charts developed by Royal Astronomers John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley in addition to a long series of observations from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, this led cartographers to adopt the Greenwich Meridian as a worldwide standard in 1884.Learn more about Inventions
The element neon was discovered by Morris Travers and Sir William Ramsay. The chemists first isolated neon in 1898 by evaporating solid argon using low pressure. Neon was the third noble gas discovered by Ramsay and Travers, after argon and krypton.Full Answer >
Copper was one of the first metals man discovered and used, so no one is sure of the exact date of its discovery. Archaeologists have discovered copper tools and decorative items dating to 9000 B.C.Full Answer >
Copper was used by ancient cultures, and there is no known person responsible for its discovery. However, estimates place its discovery at about 9,000 BC in the Middle East, according to ProQuest. Functional copper tubing has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.Full Answer >
Rabies was discovered as a human disease by Girolamo Fracastoro, a 16th century Italian physician. The disease has been recognized as an animal disease for thousands of years. The rabies vaccine was developed in 1885 by Louis Pasteur.Full Answer >