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The Chinese have a very long history of astronomical observations reaching
back to the 13th century B.C. They noted solar eclipses as well as supernova
events (exploding stars). The most impressive of these events was the
observation on 1054 A.D. of such a supernova event which lasted for 2 years,
after that the star dimmed and disappeared from view. The astronomical
observations were sufficiently precise for later astronomers to
determine that the location of that exploding star is now occupied by
the crab nebula (Fig. 2.5); it was then shown
that this nebula is expanding and, extrapolating backwards, that this
expansion started in 1054 A.D.
The Crab nebula, the remnant of a supernova.
The first Chinese cosmography imagines a round sky over a square Earth
with the sun and heavens revolving around the Earth. Later this was
replaced by a round Earth around which all heavenly bodies rotate. These
theories propagated throughout Eastern Asia.