A History of the Arabic Influence in Astronomy

Presented by Mary Adam, Adelaide Planetarium & Astronomical Society of South Australia

Mesopotamia was the land of the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians; and is the birthplace of the earliest sky maps, and it is the original home of many of the contemporary western constellations. In this talk, I will explain how this information was passed down to later civilisations. Furthermore, I will explain the importance of the ‘Islamic Golden Age’ of science, and the preservation of ancient texts and how the translation of those texts has allowed us to look back onto the same ancient Arabian night skies. Moreover, we will look at the notable stars in the Arabic night sky and learn about the origin and meaning of their names.

Bio: Mary Adam has been studying physics and astronomy for around 20-years. Her passion for astronomy has seen her study online courses run by the Australian National University, which have included cosmology; astrophysics; exoplanets; and the nature of the Universe. Additionally, Mary has studied at the University of South Australia, and completed the course ‘The Night Sky’, held at the Adelaide Planetarium, which focuses on the origins of the constellations; star names; and the history of astronomy. She has studied under Professor Brian Schmidt; Dr Paul Francis and Paul Curnow (B.ED). Her extensive research over the years of Arabian star names is due to her Arabic heritage and passion for astronomy. Moreover, in 2018, Mary has taken on the role of Astronomy Lecturer at the Adelaide Planetarium, University of South Australia. What is more, she holds a position as a council member of the Astronomical Society of South Australia; and Mary regular engages the wider community in a number of popular public outreach lectures she gives throughout the year.

Free – visitors welcome – booking not required

Please note – university security locks entrance doors at 8pm sharp

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Event info

Wednesday 05 Feb 2020

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Kerr Grant Theatre 2nd Floor, Physics Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce Adelaide



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