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Hipparchus Research Papers

Research papers on Hipparchus discuss the famous scientist and his accomplishments in the field of astronomy. Have our writers explain exactly why Hipparchus is important and how his many discoveries affected science. Paper Masters suggests the following topics on Hipparchus make interesting research papers:

  • How did Hipparchus discover the size and distance of the orbits of the sun and the moon from Earth?
  • What other authors of Hipparchus' time referred to him in their works?
  • Discuss the belief systems regarding the solar system at the time of Hipparchus.Hipparchus

Thousands of years ago, when people like Hipparchus walked the earth’s surface, the world was a place where the stars were more amplified in ways than what they are today – even with the great Hubble Space telescope and more. Imagine Hipparchus, living in a stone or mud house, no streetlights, and no electronic distractions of any sort, stepping out his front door at night and looking up into the starry heavens in awe. What Hipparchus saw was a night sky as unbleached by city lights as it was uncut by high-flying jetliners. Also absent were the multitude of technological distractions that we take for granted. Without a telescope – let alone a calculator, Hipparchus came up with the solutions for detecting and calculating correctly the duration of the sidereal and solar years, as well as painstakingly mapping out the stars. Perhaps, only in the setting of Rhodes around 100 BC could a man do this using only his mental facilities. What follows is a report on Hipparchus – his life and astrological accomplishments.

Born around 194 BC, in what was then known as Nicaea and now part of the coast of Turkey, was what some consider the “...first great observational astronomer” – Hipparchus.  Not much is known about Hipparchus’ life, but that he “...fled from Alexandria in the great upheavals of 150 BC”. Following that, Hipparchus spent most of his life on the Greek island of Rhodes. There, he conducted his astronomical observations over a 30-year period. Other than his unaided eyesight, the only instrument Hipparchus used was a called a rod, which could be “... swiveled about the vertical and was pointed at the object observed; the angle to the vertical was measured against a circle marked out in degrees”.  He died on Rhodes around 120 BC. It is safe to say that Hipparchus led a considerable nightlife as, based upon the volume of his observational astronomy, he spent much time looking at the stars.

Among Hipparchus’ many astrological accomplishments, perhaps his greatest was his accurate and thorough mapping of the (visible) stars. Before Hipparchus, the stars had been mapped out in a slightly sloppy but poetic fashion.  The Greek writer, Aratus,  “... told in flowery language how to find the constellations”. However, as the Roman Cicero would later put it, “Aratus wrote his poem without any knowledge of astronomy, but with considerable poetic talent". The need for a more accurate and thorough stellar map was perhaps half the reason Hipparchus mapped the stars.

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