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Gan and Shi's Celestial Book

    Five Planets
As early as in Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū shí qī 春秋时期) and the Warring States Period (zhàn guó shí qī 战国时期), Chinese people had made great achievement in astronomy. Based on their long-time observation of the celestial phenomena, Gan De (gān dé 甘德) of the State of Qi (qí guó 齐国) wrote a work titled Astronomy and Astrology (tiān wén xīng zhàn 天文星占) in eight volumes, and Shi Shen (shí shēn 石申) of the State of Wei (wèi guó 魏国)wrote his Astronomy (tiān wén 天文), also in eight volumes. The later generations combined their books, naming it Gan and Shi’s Celestial Book (gān shí xīng jīng 甘石星经), which is the earliest astronomic work in the world.

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Gan DeGan and Shi’s Celestial Book is the regarded as the earliest astronomic work in the world. It boasts a record of the names of over 800 stars, the positions of 121 which have been ascertained. Gan De discovered Jupiter"s moon with the naked eye, 2,000 years earlier than the Italian astronomer Galileo, who discovered it with an astronomical telescope in 1609. Shi Shen discovered the reason for solar and lunar eclipses. A crater on the moon has been named after Shi Shen. Besides, the movement of five planets—Jupiter Shi Shen(mù xīng 木星), Mars (huǒ xīng 火星), Saturn (tǔ xīng 土星), Venus (jīn xīng 金星), and Mercury (shuǐ xīng 水星) and the rule dictating their appearances were also recorded. In later generations, many astronomers referenced the data from Gan and Shi’s Celestial Book when they measured the place and movement of the sun, the moon and the other planets. Thus, Gan and Shi’s Celestial Book is of great significance in the history of astronomy in China and the whole world.

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甘石星经
      早在春秋战国时期,中国人在天文领域就已经取得了很大的成就。在长期观测天象的基础上,战国时期齐人甘德)写出了一本著作名为《天文星占》,魏人石申(今属河南开封)写出了一本著作名为《天文》。后人将两本著作合为一本,取名为《甘石星经》。

Diagram of Stars     《甘石星经》是我国、也是世界上最早的一部天文学著作,可借它在宋代以后失传了,今天只能从唐代的天文学书籍《开元占经》里见到它的一些片断摘录。这些片断摘录表明,甘德和石申曾系统地观察了金、木、水、火、土五大行星的运行,发现了五大行星出没的规律;他们还记录了八百颗恒星的名字,测定了一百二十一颗恒星的方位。后人将甘德和石申测定的恒星记录称为《甘石星表》,这是我国、也是世界上最早的恒星表,比希腊天文学家伊巴谷测编的欧洲第一个恒星表大约早二百年,后世许多天文学家在测量日、月、行星的位置和运动时,都要用到《甘石星经》中的数据,因此,《甘石星经》在我国和世界天文学史上都占有重要地位。

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