Night Skies of Native America

Presented by Paul Curnow, Adelaide Planetarium University of South Australia & Astronomical Society of South Australia

How do Native Americans believe the universe came into existence? How does the way that Native Americans view the night sky, differ from the classical eighty-eight western constellations used by contemporary astronomers today? Do indigenous populations in South America, and North America, differ on their interpretations, and their belief systems as part of their stellar knowledge? In this talk, I will introduce you to their
cultures and peoples, in addition to some of their cosmogony. Moreover, I will look at the significance of the night sky and what we know about it from a First Nations perspective.

Bio: Paul Curnow [B.ED] is the Vice President of the Astronomical Society of South Australia (member since 1991) and a former council member of the Field Geology Club of South Australia. He has been a lecturer at the Adelaide Planetarium since 1992 and was the recipient of the ASSA editor’s award for 2000; 2010; and then again in 2013. In 2002, he served as a southern sky specialist for visiting U.S. and British astronomers who were in Australia for the total solar eclipse. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian Aboriginal night sky knowledge; and in 2004, he worked in conjunction with the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center Planetarium in Ohio, on the creation of a show that features Indigenous Australian stories of the night sky. In addition, Paul runs a number of popular courses for the general public that focus on the constellations, planetary astronomy, historical astronomy and ethnoastronomy, which primarily deals with how the night sky is seen by non-western cultures. He appeared as the keynote speaker at the inaugural 2010 Lake Tyrrell Star Party in Sea Lake, Victoria and in 2011 was a special guest speaker at the Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand. Since 2012 Paul has taken the role of Lecturer for the Astronomy & Universe
course (EDUC2066) for the School of Education at the University of South Australia. Paul appears regularly in the media and has authored over 50 articles on astronomy.

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Event info

Wednesday 01 Nov 2017

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

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



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