Shi Shen


Shi Shen

Shi Shen (zh-cw|c=石申|w=Shih Shen, fl. 4th century BC) was a Chinese astronomer and contemporary of Gan De born in the State of Wei, also known as the Master Shi Shen (Shi Shenfu) [ There were variant courtesy name given to him; in Hanshu 30 his name was listed as Shi Shenfu (石申夫), Shi Shenfu (石申甫) as in Jiu Tangshu 51, and Shi Shenfu (石申父) under a commantary in Hou Hanshu 100. Though he was simply known as Shi Shen under Shiji 27.] .

Observations

Shi is credited with positioning the 121 stars found in the preserved texts. [Milone, Eugene F. Humiston Kelley, David. Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy. [2005] (2005). ISBN 0387953108] He also made the earliest surviving undated record [The first dated record of sunspot came from Hanshu 27 which was observed on 10 May, 28 BC.] of sunspot observation, which is sometimes erroneously credited to Gan De. He assumed that these spots were eclipses that began at the center of the sun and spread outward. Although he was wrong, he recognised the spots for what they were — solar phenomena. [Kaiyuan Zhanjing Vol. 6.]

His works included the 8-volume "Astronomy" [a.k.a. the Shi's Treatise on Stars.] , the one-volume "Celestial Map" and the one-volume "Star Catalogue of Shi" [Suishu 34 listed three of his works together, the "Tianwen" (天文), "Huntian Tu" (浑天图) and "Shishi Xingbu Jingzan" (石氏星簿经赞) a.k.a. "Shishi Xingjing Buzan" (石氏星经簿赞).] . The latter two are now believed to be written by his school followers. Most of his works did not survive intact, but a few of his crucial writings were preserved in the Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Era.

Books

Shi Shen wrote the "Shi Shen astronomy" (石申天文, Shi Shen tienwen). [Peng, Yoke Ho (2000). Li, Qi and Shu: An Introduction to Science and Civilization in China. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0486414450]

Influence

Gan De and Shi Shen are widely quoted across a number of astronomical texts after their time. Though they should not be confused with other books sharing similar names that were not written by them. One examples is the "Star Manual of the Masters Gan and Shi" (甘石星經, Gan Shi Xingjing), which was actually compiled by Ma Xian (馬顯) circa 579 AD as an appendix to a calendar treatise. [Kistemaker, Jacob. Sun, Xiaochun. [1997] (1997). The Chinese Sky During the Han: Constellating Stars and Society. BRILL publishing. ISBN 9004039384.]

The Shi Shen crater on the Moon is named after him.

ee also

* Chinese star maps
* Hipparchus
* Nicolaus Copernicus
* Galileo Galilei

Notes

References

*cite book | author=Du Shiran et al | title=Biographies of Ancient Chinese Scientists Series One: [http://www.xys.org/xys/ebooks/others/science/history/china/shishenfu.txt Shi Shenfu] | publisher=Kexue Chubanshe | location=Beijing | pages=22-25 | year=1992 | id=ISBN 7-03-002926-7
*cite book | author=Zhu Genyi et al | title=Concise Spotlight on Who in the World of Science and Technology | publisher=Zhongguo Kexue Jishu Chubanshe | location=Beijing | pages=2-3 | year=1999 | id=ISBN 7-5046-2602-3
*cite book | author=Dick Teresi | title=The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Babylonians to the Maya | publisher=Simon & Schuster | location=New York | pages=148 | year=2003 | id=ISBN 0-7432-4379-X


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