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Profile Chris S
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Message 655255 - Posted: 6 Oct 2007, 17:27:45 UTC

Who decided that we would have 90 degrees in a right angle, therefore 360 degrees in a circle.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to have had 100 degrees?
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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 655267 - Posted: 6 Oct 2007, 17:44:47 UTC - in response to Message 655255.

Who decided that we would have 90 degrees in a right angle, therefore 360 degrees in a circle.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to have had 100 degrees?


I think we inherited this from the Babylonians-Somehow they had a base 60 imbedded in their numbering schemes.

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Profile Chris S
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Message 655272 - Posted: 6 Oct 2007, 17:49:13 UTC - in response to Message 655267.
Last modified: 6 Oct 2007, 17:51:02 UTC

Who decided that we would have 90 degrees in a right angle, therefore 360 degrees in a circle.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to have had 100 degrees?


I think we inherited this from the Babylonians-Somehow they had a base 60 imbedded in their numbering schemes.


Interesting!

Mr Centigrade seemed sensible, what happened to Mr Fahrenheit with 212 degrees then?

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Message 655318 - Posted: 6 Oct 2007, 19:22:09 UTC

Maybe somebody made degrees based on how far the Sun moves through the stars each day of the year. Somehow he/she rounded off 365 to 360 for a rounder number.
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Message 655605 - Posted: 7 Oct 2007, 4:22:30 UTC

William and Clyde have made some plausible suggestions.
And, dividing by 2, 3, 4 or 5 is typical. (Even 6, as it is 2 times 3.) So, we can see where 60 and 90 can come from this.
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Message 656736 - Posted: 9 Oct 2007, 13:07:05 UTC - in response to Message 655255.

... Wouldn't it have made more sense to have had 100 degrees?

Look up gradians.

Keep searchin',
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Message 664821 - Posted: 23 Oct 2007, 3:18:31 UTC - in response to Message 656736.

Look up gradians.

The only time I ever encountered gradians ‘in the wild’ was on a summer job as a geological field assistant; we used them for our dip & strike measurements.

SI trivia: the metre was originally intended to be the distance on the Earth’s surface represented by 1/100,000 grad of latitude, just as the nautical mile is based on the minute of latitude.

The Canadian Forces use a compatible angular measure: 1 mil = 1/6400 circle = 1/16 grad. It gets its name from the fact that an object that subtends 1 mil of arc is about one thousandth as large as it is distant—ideally the angle would be 1 milliradian = 1/6283 circle, but of course 1/6400 (= 0.982 mrad) works much better with the traditional compass points.

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Message 664943 - Posted: 23 Oct 2007, 8:45:31 UTC - in response to Message 655318.

Maybe somebody made degrees based on how far the Sun moves through the stars each day of the year. Somehow he/she rounded off 365 to 360 for a rounder number.

That's been my understanding. Seems I saw something about it many years ago on an educational tv show.
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Message 665294 - Posted: 23 Oct 2007, 22:57:58 UTC - in response to Message 664943.

Maybe somebody made degrees based on how far the Sun moves through the stars each day of the year. Somehow he/she rounded off 365 to 360 for a rounder number.

That's been my understanding. Seems I saw something about it many years ago on an educational tv show.

There’s an ancient Egyptian myth that says that the year originally had 360 days; the additional five were made out of light borrowed from the Moon, which is why the latter is dark some of the time …

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Message 665551 - Posted: 24 Oct 2007, 4:58:06 UTC - in response to Message 665294.

Maybe somebody made degrees based on how far the Sun moves through the stars each day of the year. Somehow he/she rounded off 365 to 360 for a rounder number.

That's been my understanding. Seems I saw something about it many years ago on an educational tv show.

There’s an ancient Egyptian myth that says that the year originally had 360 days; the additional five were made out of light borrowed from the Moon, which is why the latter is dark some of the time …

Sounds good. Let's go with that story and everyone agree to stick to it. :-)
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Why?

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