1. Describe all the important relationships you can think of between the Sun and the Earth. Which are of most significance to you personally?
2. Imagine you were living at a time when the magical properties of electricity had not yet been discovered. How would that affect your estimate of the significance of the Moon and its influence on human life?
3. What is a planet? List the names of the currently recognised planets in order of the mean distance of their orbits from the Sun.
4. What do you understand by:
The North Pole of the Earth?
The South Pole of the sky?
The Earth's equator?
The Celestial equator?
The Milky Way?
5. a. What is a "constellation" of stars?
5. b. What do you consider astronomically significant about the order in which the following constellations are listed: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces?
5. c. What do these names mean and why do you think they were so called?
5. d. If the sky were clear at midnight tonight, which of these constellations would you expect to be able to see from where you are?
6. a. What regularities can be discerned in the constantly changing patterns displayed in the night sky over periods of hours, days, months, years, and millennia?
6. b. Explain the occurrence of solstices and equinoxes.
6. c. What you you understand by the "precession of the equinoxes"?
6. d. How do you imagine the ancients got to know about a phenomenon whose periodicity far exceeds that of a normal human life span?
6. e. What influence(s) do you imagine sustain(s) the order manifested in cosmic variations?
6. f. Do you consider it possible that similar influences govern the lives of sentient beings living here on Earth?
7. "...the candlestick with seven branches represented the seven planets, like which the seven branches were arranged and regulated, preserving that musical proportion and system of harmony of which the Sun was the centre and connection." Clemens of Alexandria, c.150-c.214 CE
a. Comment on the manner in which harmony and proportion appeal to the human aesthetic sense and enable the skilful artist to arouse emotions.
b. Do you think it possible that the rhythms characteristic of human psychology may point to corresponding rhythms prevailing throughout the Universe?