Mathematics has always been a powerful tool for studying, measuring and calculating the movements of the planets, and this article gives several examples.
Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.
Astronomy grew out of problems that the early civilisations had. They needed to solve problems relating to time and distance - both mathematical topics.
But to get
jobs done most effectively and to make sure that goods were shared
fairly, tools were needed. Some of the first mathematical tools man
developed where to help them measure. They had to measure the
passing of time, find ways to divide up pieces of land, develop a
system to help keep track of the number of animals they owned and
ways to measure grain so that they could exchange goods with each
foresters, builders, surveyors, map makers and scientists have
created special tools to help them measure the height of trees,
buildings and other tall structures very accurately. One of the
tools is called a theodolite, the illustration shows a surveyor
using one. You may have seen one on a building site. It is still
important to measure tall trees - which are in fact the largest and
oldest living organisms. Did you know that the tallest tree in the
world is in Redwood National Park in California? It's as tall as a
30 storey building! That's about 360 feet!!