Sebastian

Trigonometry and astronomy

Trigonometry is used everywhere in our lives, since the beginning of development in our civilisations, people have been researching about the three lengths that have mystified for centuries. Trigonometry can almost be seen everywhere. First of all though we need to know its international definition, trigonometry is a study of triangles and its sides and angles, the hypotenuse, the adjacent side and the opposite side. Trigonometry also has its different functions (cos, sin and tan) which have an essential relationship with the whole theme, they used in their specific situations when trying to uncover an unknown value.

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Mathematically it is mainly used for calculus (which is perhaps its greatest application), linear algebra, and statistics.The name its self comes from Greek descent, trigonometry itself means triangle and measure in Greek. They weren’t the actual discoverers of trig but they implied vast development and improvement in that subject for many years with the help of mathematicians and philosophers like Pythagoras, whom we know very well.

The Greek used their findings with much of their architecture and geography but mainly for their interest in the sky, astronomy. Everything that may lie for away across the universe is part of astronomy, the studies of the universe, it heavily needs the help of trig for several reasons

With astronomy we’re dealing with matter far away in the universe we can only observe which is why trig plays such a big role. With trig we can start to calculate distances between matter and the angles at which they are facing the earth. This is how the Greeks started with the Pythagoras theorem (seen on the right). Although nowadays we mostly use the trig laws and theorems, SIN ( finding the rise O/H), COS( finding the run A/H) and TAN( finding the slope O/A). With these functions many immeasurable distances can be found by knowing two distances or a distance and an angle. Astronomers nowadays use computers so they can start to simulate bit by bit a small piece the universe on the computer having correct and precise distances. An example of this trigonometry use can be observed when If one looks at the moon and the

next day feels the sun light, one might wonder, what is the distance between the earth and the sun or the moon. Although it might seem simple two connect a triangle between the three, there are a few things which need to be kept and mind, first of all we are going to have to measure from the core of the each to make it equal except if you already know an equivalent point on the surface of each piece of mass (ex. The equator), secondly one has to keep in mind the orbit of the moon as this fluctuates the distance between the sun and thirdly make sure they are on an approximate equivalent plane. If one would want to find the distance to another star these rules are locked. Their are many different ways one can find distances using the parallaxes set rules.

Finding the angle with another star from the Earth and the sun we will have to follow the same rules of the parallax. Record the distance to the sun and then 6 months later do the same so you’ll end up with an isosceles triangle.

In astronomy we learned that trig is essential for finding distances an angles, this way astronomers in the past and nowadays could start to visualise and also simulate what the universe would be structured. Thanks to men like Pythagoras a lot of research has gone into this area of science leading to new heights for astronomy across the centuries. In conclusion trigonometry was vital for the development of our society centuries ago, nevertheless it is still used a lot today for aspects in architecture, geology and of course astronomy which was the main reason for the discoveries of trigonometry.

Bibliography

Works Cited

“Applications of Trigonometry.” Applications of Trigonometry. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013. . “Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013. .

“Parallax.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013. . “Trigonometric Functions.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013. .