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NC Astronomers Meets
At the Madelyn Helling Library
Community Room
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, CA 95959

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   Jan 8
  Wednesday
   7pm - 9pm

Ancient Astronomy 

Prehistoric to the Renaissance-part 1

David Buchla

 

In this presentation, David will trace the history of astronomy starting with stone circles and describing early astronomy in various parts of the world. The first part of this two-part talk will be illustrated with many of his own slides included from locations like Stonehenge and Almendres Cromlech (the oldest stone circle in Europe) and talk will cover the astronomy of early Babylonians, ancient Egyptians and the various cultures in the Americas. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the Star of Bethlehem, with an interesting possible explanation with roots in Astrology.

 
 

   Feb 5
  1st Wednesday
   7pm - 9pm

Ancient Astronomy 

Prehistoric to the Renaissance-part 2

David Buchla

The second part of the discussion of ancient astronomy starts with the Greeks. The Greeks were the innovators of modern science; they went from "flat earthers" with many fanciful myths of the heavens run by the gods to forming reasonable models for the solar system based on observations. They constructed geometric models of their science; one model in particular is considered the first analog computer. The ancient Greeks borrowed from the Babylonians but were sophisticated observers on their own right and they set the stage for the development of modern science.

We will next discuss astronomy in China. Chinese observation records were the most accurate and detailed in the world with huge star catalogs and records of comets, supernova, and meteor showers included. We will look at photos of the pre-telescope instruments they used to make their amazing observations.

The talk will conclude with a discussion of the key astronomers of the Renaissance period. 

 

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