Greene, N. Holbrook, J.
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Who are the Black Astronomers and Astrophysicists? Bol, Marcia, ed. Collection of essays describing how indigenous groups examine the natural world, with a chapter on astronomy. Canby, T. Carlson, J. Krupp, E. Astronomical stories and explanations from Northern Canada and Alaska, including a discussion of interpretations of the aurora. Malville, J.
ISBN 13: 9783642116018
A nice introductory book about cultures and monuments in the Arizona area. An authoritative compilation by Navajo and Western astronomers of illustrations, stories, and observations of Navajo constellations coupled with stories from corresponding Greek constellations and Hubble Space Telescope images of objects found in that part of the sky.
A book of traditional stories for kids. See sequel, More Star Tales, from same publisher. An examination of the astronomy in the traditions and world view of the Crow people. Skylore from a number of tribes retold. Schulz, T. The sky world of the Native Americans, through their tales and their observing sites. Solar Astronomy in the Pre-historic Southwest P. A physicist recounts his experience teaching science in Botswana. Edited by H. Selin , Springer. Holbrook, Jarita, et al. A variety of papers with much useful information. Sky and Psyche. Book of essays on African views of the skies, compiled for an exhibit at the National Museum of African Art.
Schilling, G. On the Egyptian pyramids and their astronomical orientation. On African myths related to the sky. Wines, M. Ancient Astronomers of Timbuktu a video and website on the project to preserve the papers and knowledge of this Saharan city. Ahmad, I. The Muslim calendar and sighting the first crescent moon. King, David A. Multi-volume, authoritative study. Saliba, George. A scholarly history. The Role of Astronomy in Islam Dr. Bibliography on the Astronomy of Baghdad in the 9 th and 10 th centuries by David A.
Video of a talk by Dr. A fine introduction to Maya astronomy and debunking of the notion that their calendar means the end of the world in Aveni, Anthony Skywatchers. An updated version of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico, this is an introduction to the astronomy of the Maya. The Mayan calendar, sky observations, and monuments. Examines the role of astronomy among the Incas.
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Kurtz, P. Profile of Anthony Aveni, with a focus on his work on Mayan structures. Scholarly monograph. Maya Exploration Center Dr.
Bryan, E. An introduction to the stars as seen from Hawaii and their use as navigation aids in traditional Hawaiian voyaging.
Do constellations ever break apart or change?
An anthropologist describes recreating the voyages of the ancient Polynesians using the stars to navigate. Haynes, R. On the astronomical ideas in Australian aborigines culture. A geologist and planetarium educator recounts how he became part of the project to rediscover the ancient art of navigating by the stars and a voyage to see how it was done. From ancient times through the 19th century, with a look at Chinese influences.
On early Chinese astronomy, as recorded on art and artifacts. Cambridge University Press. Shows how astronomy profoundly influenced every aspect of culture in the formative period, from art and architecture, to city planning, to political and military decision-making. A historical study. Modern astronomical instruments China plans to build and projects it is joining with other countries to do.
Chinese astral lore in the literature, religion, and folkways of the Tang Dynasty On Chinese moon legends and how they continue to be used in cultural celebrations. Technical in parts chapter on the dating of positional observations but excellent introduction to the history of mapping the sky in China and East Asia. Stunning Han Dynasty visual representations of the celestial, in cosmology, mythology, and astronomy. Vowahsen, Andreas Cosmic Architecture in India.
How Ancient Star Maps Gave Rise to Modern Astronomy
Nha, I. Aspects of Prehistoric Astronomy in India a somewhat technical article by N. I also thank Haverford student Miriam Lamb for summer research in connection with this guide. Detailed guide to Stonehenge and other ancient stone monuments. On the Callanish stones off the coast of Scotland their alignments with the motion of the Moon in the sky. Uses a wonderful Coca-Cola can model to explain how the builders thought of the sky. About the underground shrine at Newgrange, Ireland.
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Maranto, G. On what tourism is doing to the ancient monument. Zimmermann, L. Many successful communications companies were originally founded by radio astronomers. The computer language FORTH was originally created to be used by the Kitt Peak foot telescope and went on to provide the basis for a highly profitable company Forth Inc. It is now being used by FedEx worldwide for its tracking services. Some other examples of technology transfer between astronomy and industry are listed below National Research Council, :.
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The first patents for techniques to detect gravitational radiation — produced when massive bodies accelerate — have been acquired by a company to help them determine the gravitational stability of underground oil reservoirs. Schuler, M. The aerospace sector shares most of its technology with astronomy — specifically in telescope and instrument hardware, imaging, and image-processing techniques. Since the development of space-based telescopes, information acquisition for defence has shifted from using ground-based to aerial and space-based, techniques.
Defence satellites are essentially telescopes pointed towards Earth and require identical technology and hardware to those used in their astronomical counterparts. In addition, processing satellite images uses the same software and processes as astronomical images. Some specific examples of astronomical developments used in defence are given below National Research Council, :. Observations of stars and models of stellar atmospheres are used to differentiate between rocket plumes and cosmic objects.
The same method is now being studied for use in early warning systems. Astronomers developed a solar-blind photon counter — a device which can measure the particles of light from a source, during the day, without being overwhelmed by the particles coming from the Sun. This is now used to detect ultraviolet UV photons coming from the exhaust of a missile, allowing for a virtually false-alarm-free UV missile warning system.
The same technology can also be used to detect toxic gases. Astronomical methods can be used to find new fossil fuels as well as to evaluate the possibility of new renewable energy sources National Research Council, :. Two oil companies, Texaco and BP , use IDL to analyse core samples around oil fields as well as for general petroleum research.
An Australian company, called Ingenero , has created solar radiation collectors to harness the power of the Sun for energy on Earth. They have created collectors up to 16 metres in diameter, which is only possible with the use of a graphite composite material developed for an orbiting telescope array. Technology designed to image X-rays in X-ray telescopes — which have to be designed differently from visible-light telescopes — is now used to monitor plasma fusion.
If fusion — where two light atomic nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus — became possible to control, it could be the answer to safe, clean, energy. Astronomers struggle constantly to see objects that are ever dimmer and further away. Medicine struggles with similar issues: to see things that are obscured within the human body. Both disciplines require high-resolution, accurate and detailed images. Perhaps the most notable example of knowledge transfer between these two studies is the technique of aperture synthesis , developed by the radio astronomer and Nobel Laureate, Martin Ryle Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Along with these imaging techniques, astronomy has developed many programming languages that make image processing much easier, specifically IDL and IRAF.
These languages are widely used for medical applications Shasharina, Another important example of how astronomical research has contributed to the medical world is in the development of clean working areas. The cleanroom protocols, air filters, and bunny suits that were developed to achieve this are now also used in hospitals and pharmaceutical labs Clark, A collaboration between a drug company and the Cambridge Automatic Plate Measuring Facility allows blood samples from leukaemia patients to be analysed faster and thus ensures more accurate changes in medication National Research Council, Radio astronomers developed a method that is now used as a non-invasive way to detect tumours.
Small thermal sensors initially developed to control telescope instrument temperatures are now used to control heating in neonatology units — units for the care of newborn babies National Research Council, A low-energy X-ray scanner developed by NASA is currently used for outpatient surgery, sports injuries, and in third-world clinics. Looking through the fluid-filled, constantly moving eye of a living person is not that different from trying to observe astronomical objects through the turbulent atmosphere, and the same fundamental approach seems to work for both.
Adaptive optics used in astronomy can be used for retinal imaging in living patients to study diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa in their early stages. Boston Micromachines Corporation There are many things that people encounter on an everyday basis that were derived from astronomical technologies.
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Perhaps the most commonly used astronomy-derived invention is the wireless local area network WLAN. This same method was applied to radio signals in general, specifically to those dedicated to strengthening computer networks, which is now an integral part of all WLAN implementations Hamaker et al. Other technologies important to everyday life that were originally developed for astronomy are listed below National Research Council, :. In airports, a gas chromatograph — for separating and analysing compounds — designed for a Mars mission is used to survey baggage for drugs and explosives.
A gamma-ray spectrometer originally used to analyse lunar soil is now used as a non-invasive way to probe structural weakening of historical buildings or to look behind fragile mosaics, such as in St. More subtle than these contributions to technology is the contribution that astronomy has made to our view of time.
The first calendars were based on the movement of the Moon and even the way that we define a second is due to astronomy. The atomic clock, developed in , was calibrated using astronomical Ephemeris Time — a former standard astronomical timescale adopted by the IAU in This led to the internationally agreed-upon re-definition of the second Markowitz et al. These are all very tangible examples of the effect astronomy has had on our everyday lives, but astronomy also plays an important role in our culture.
There are many books and magazines about astronomy for non-astronomers. Many non-astronomers also engaged with astronomy during the International Year of Astronomy IYA , the largest education and public outreach event in science. The IYA reached upwards of eight hundred million people, through thousands of activities, in more than countries IAU, Scientific and technological achievements give a large competitive edge to any nation. Nations pride themselves on having the most efficient new technologies and race to achieve new scientific discoveries. But perhaps more important is the way that science can bring nations together, encouraging collaboration and creating a constant flow as researchers travel around the globe to work in international facilities.
Astronomy is particularly well suited to international collaboration due to the need to have telescopes in different places around the world, in order to see the whole sky. At least as far back as — when astronomers from around the world pooled their telescope images and made the first map of the whole sky — there have been international collaborations in astronomy and in , the International Astronomical Union became the first international scientific union. In addition to the need to see the sky from different vantage points on Earth, building astronomical observatories on the ground and in space is extremely expensive.
Therefore most of the current and planned observatories are owned by several nations. All of these collaborations have thus far been peaceful and successful. Some of the most notable being:. In the above text we have outlined both the tangible and intangible reasons that astronomy is an important part of society. Although we have focused mainly on the technology and knowledge transfer, perhaps the most important contribution is still the fact that astronomy makes us aware of how we fit into the vast Universe. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. Aitken, R. Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Leaflet 59, December , Clark, H.