Astronomical observations recorded in Vedic Literature & their Date

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,569
USA
Actually, RigVeda gives us the exact date when the sun went down the horizon. It was the fortieth of Sharadi. That is the fortieth day from the autumnal equinox or 10th in the eighth month. That would correspond to October 10, when the verse says Indra found Shambara, one of the demons of darkness, in his fort. RigVeda is exact history. That is why Martanda was considered to be unformed while seven others were fully formed.
What is the hymn that gives the "exact" date of Sun going down the horizon? Now this is fun.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
Tilak was a minion in this field.
You should be careful in what you say about great people of India. If Tilak was not sure of what he was saying, he would not have written it.
What is the hymn that gives the "exact" date of Sun going down the horizon? Now this is fun.
Gladly.
यः शम्बरं पर्वतेषु क्षियन्तं चत्वारिंश्यां शरद्यन्वविन्दत l
ओजायमानं यो अहिं जघान दानुं शयानं स जनास इन्द्रः ll (R.V. II.12.11)
yaḥ śambaraṃ parvateṣu kṣiyantaṃ catvāriṃśyāṃ śaradyanvavindata l
ojāyamānaṃ yo ahiṃ jaghāna dānuṃ śayānaṃ sa janāsa indraḥ ll

He who discovered in the fortieth autumn Śambara as he dwelt among the mountains;
Who slew the Dragon putting forth his vigor, the demon lying there, He, men, is Indra. (Ralph Griffith)
Tilak: “Indra found Shambara dwelling on the mountains on (chatvârimshyâm sharadi) the fortieth in autumn.”

"Now Sharad is the fourth season of the year, and the fortieth day of Sharad would mean seven months and ten days, or 220 days, after the first day of Vasanta or the spring, which commenced the year in old times. In short, the passage means that Indra’s fight with Shambara, or the annual conflict between light and darkness, commenced on the tenth day of the eighth month of the year, or on the 10th of October, .. The passage thus gives the very date of Indra’s annual fight with Vṛitra; and if it had been correctly understood, much useless speculation about the nature of Vṛitra’s legend would have been avoided. ..

According to this interpretation Sharad becomes the last season of sunshine, and it may be here remarked that the etymological meaning of the word further supports the same view. For Sharad is derived from shri (Eng. Shrivel), to wither or waste away (Unâdi 127), and the word thus primarily signifies the “season of decay or withering”; and the decay here referred to is evidently the - decay of the power of the sun, .. Thus we find in the Taittirîya Samhitâ, II, 1, 2, 5, that “There are three lusters or powers of the sun; one in Vasanta, that is, in the morning; one in Grîshma or the mid. day; and one in Sharad or the evening.”

In the chapter on Comparative Mythology in "Arctic Home in Vedas":
"The great feast of the Norsemen occupied three days called the Winter Nights and began on the Saturday falling on or between the 11th and the 18th of October; and according to Dr. Vigfusson this feast marked the beginning of the ancient year of the Norsemen. The old Norse year thus appears to have been shorter by a few days than the Celtic one; but Prof. Rhys accounts for this difference on the ground “that winter, and therefore the year commences earlier in Scandinavia than in the continental center from which the Celts dispersed themselves.”

As regards the ancient Greek calendar, Prof. Rhys has shown that the old year ended with the festival of Apaturia and the new one began with the Chalceia, an ancient feast in honor of Hephæstus and Athene, the exact date being the ènu kai nea of the month of Pyanepsion, that is, approximately the last day of October. Prof. Rhys then compares the Celtic feast of the Lugnassad with the Greek festival named Panathenæa, and the feast on the Calends of May with the Athenian Thargelia, and concludes his comparison of the Celtic and the Greek calendar by observing that “a year which was common to Celts with Greeks is not unlikely to have once been common to them with some or all other branches of the Aryan family.”
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
This is how ancient people found time in Polar Regions.
Kiruna, Sweden, on Dec. 23, 2019 : 9PM
Kiruna9PM.png
Kiruna, Sweden, on Dec. 24, 2019 : 7AM
Kiruna7AM.png
As I see it, the position of Altair and the Milky Way galaxy easily gives approximate time. I am sure that ancient people recognized many more stars.
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
And here is Kiruna, Sweden at 2 AM On Dec. 24, 2019, without removing atmospheric illumination (i.e., actual as it would be). At this time, Star Arcturus is so prominent.
Did I choose Kiruna, Sweden for any particular reason? No, just for heck. Basically I wanted to show how the stars change their position with time.

Kiruna2AM.png
Same three images (9 PM, 2 AM and 7 AM) with Indian star names (this time looking towards the Southern horizon):
Kiruna1.jpg . Kiruna2.jpg . Kiruna3.jpg
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
The stars given their time, season and elevation, will give direction information also. Seems complicated, but those who are familiar with this, will read it like a book, like the navigators do.