This Friday (March 7, 2014) at the Canadian Tire in Waterdown, we will have sidewalk astronomy for everyone who shops at this store. We will set up the telescopes around 6:00 o’clock, and view Jupiter, the moon, and other objects until 9:00. We have new signs for the event, as well as business cards.
Canadian Tire sells Celestron binoculars and telescopes. I will bring the 15×70 Celestrons to view with, as well as a telescope.
The rain/snow/cloudy weather date is Saturday. I think we could do this from 5:00 to 7:00 on Saturday, if necessary.
Ancient Egyptian Astronomy
The ancient Egyptians were not morbid, a statement which may seem odd when considering their many burial chambers, tombs, mortuary temples and other similar sites that remain standing in present-day Egypt. It was rather that they celebrated life so much they wanted to ensure all earthly pleasures could be enjoyed continuously in the afterlife. They believed that they could do this by elaborately depicting everyday scenes, probably very much idealized, on walls and ceilings leading up to and surrounding their place of interment. Included in these portrayals are tantalizing representations of the ancient Egyptian night sky, which give us some insight of how they interpreted the celestial sphere and the range of objects within it.
During this talk, I will give an overview of ancient Egyptian astronomy, and then focus on one particular representation of the night sky: the diagonal star tables. I will also discuss a recent expedition to Egypt and our current work in this fascinating field.
****Robert Cockcroft is a postdoctoral research fellow at McMaster University, where he is also the McCallion Planetarium Manager and first-year undergraduate lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His graduate research centred on observational astronomy, where he looked at globular clusters in the nearby Triangulum and Andromeda Galaxies, and his current research focus is history of astronomy – in particular, ancient Egyptian astronomy.****
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