Norse Cosmos

Presented by Paul Curnow

The Vikings were Norse seafarers, who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries, raided and traded from their Northern European homelands. However, what do we know about their view of the world? How did the Norse believe the the Universe came into existence? In this lecture I will discuss the early cosmotheism of the Norse and how their mythology explains their view of the world and wider Cosmos. Moreover, I will provide an overview of what we know about the Norse constellations and how they differ from the contemporary view of the night sky as used by astronomers today.  

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. Paul has been a lecturer at the Adelaide Planetarium since 1992. He 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. After 28-years of research, 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. Moreover, in 2018, he served as head consultant on Indigenous Astronomy for the Australian Space Agency. 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 & the Universe’ course (EDUC 2066); and in 2019 for ‘Science’ (EDUC 2030) for the School of Education at the University of South Australia. Moreover in 2018, he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Astronomical Society of South Australia for his contributions to astronomy. Paul appears regularly in the media and has authored over 50 articles on astronomy.

Free - visitors welcome

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Event info

Wednesday 06 Nov 2019

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

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



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