Letters of Intent received in 2018

LoI 2020-2079
Precession, Constellations, Epochs and Cultural Astronomy

Date: 30 July 2020 to 31 July 2020
Location: Kamuela, Hawaii, United States
Contact: Steve Durst (info@iloa.org)
Coordinating division: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Other divisions: Division A Fundamental Astronomy
Co-Chairs of SOC: Steve Durst (International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA))
William Waller (Galactic Inquirer)
Somaya Saad (Helwan Observatory)
Khaled Abdalla Edris (Al Azhar University)
Qing Lin (Shanghai Science & Education Publishing House)
Co-Chairs of LOC: Steve Durst (International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA))
Douglas Simons (CFHT Corporation)
John Steele (Brown University)
Panagiota-Eleftheria Christopoulou (University Of Patras)
Christian Veillet (LBTO)

 

Topics

• Precession
• Constellations
• Epochs
• Cultural Astronomy in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, the Near East and island nations including Hawai’i
• 'Under One Sky'
• Communicating these Topics with the Public

 

Rationale

• This Focus Meeting plans to Explore and Popularize Precession, Constellations, Epochs and Cultural Astronomy from China, Egypt, Greece, Hawai’i and other cultures

--• This discussion would help inclusivity, equality and astronomy theories and make it possible for Billions of people around the world to learn about current constellations, and ancient ones used in Egypt, China, Hawaii and other cultures – not just the 12 they know today.

--• Public interest in the history of astronomy is evident in many cultures. Astronomy education rarely includes reference to constellations and the study of epochs and precession in ancient cultures and how they affected the current IAU constellations.

--• This Focus Meeting aims to study the role of precession, constellations, culture and epochs in China, Egypt, Greece, the Near East, Hawaii and other cultures.

--• Outreaching to the public during GA 31 in 2021, from Busan and Cheomsungdae, would inspire people around the world to learn about constellations and the culture of astronomy; and how constellations were influenced by culture.

• This IAU Focus Meeting and Possible Recommendations for Busan, Korea during GA 31:

-- • Communicate the theory and understanding of precession, constellations, epochs, and culture of astronomy with the public.

-- • Today, less than 0.5 % of the world population uses the star map applications that are available today. We hope that we can make at least 25% of the world learn more about constellations and the theories and culture of astronomy.

-- • Reference to the Star of Bethlehem and other significant historical astronomical events in various ages and cultures would interest many people around the world. The Culture of Hawaii and its contribution to ancient astronomy is rarely discussed. Very little mention goes to the contribution of China and Egypt to precession and astronomical calculations, or recording of eclipses.

-- • Discuss precession and consider recalculating one line in the 1928 Delporte sky map, which the famous philosopher, Carl Jung, described as drawn on arbitrary lines.

• Latin America: The1928 IAU Constellation Map and Uranometria Argentina:

-- • Invite Dr. Beatriz Garcia to discuss Delporte’s IAU Constellation Map is based on Uranometira Argentina, developed by Benjamin Gould at Argentina’s National Observatory and published in 1877 and 1879.

-- • Discussion of Uranometria Argentina, its coordinates, precession and epochs would help the public learn about the history of astronomy, epochs, precession and revive interest in learning about each Age, and why these epochs are of historical significance.

-- • Invite papers on the 28 Constellations in China and their equivalent constellations in Korea.

-- • Invite abstracts about the Circular Sky Constellations in Egypt and how they changed over the years into the Constellations on the Temple of Dendur. Trace these changes to different epochs.

• Delporte’s IAU Celestial Map, Uranometria Argentina and Aquarius / Pisces Constellation Boundary:

-- • Discussion of the first recorded dates of the sun entering the point 0° on the Ecliptic when the Sun appears from Earth to enter the Aquarius Constellation. This is tied to measurements made in ancient cultures of when the Sun appeared to enter the Pisces and Aries Constellations.

-- • Delporte’s IAU Celestial Map indicates that the Age / Epoch of Aquarius will begin at about the year 2600. If we move one line in the celestial sky map, it will involve a change of less than one tenth of 1 percent of the entire sky map and the Age of Aquarius will begin in the year 2000.

-- • Discuss Precession and epochs and astronomy in various ancient and modern cultures. Did the epoch of Taurus and the epoch of Pisces begin with celestial recordings in any of the ancient cultures?

-- • Does modern society believe in astronomy and precession and epochs? Neil Maher, the prize-winning author of “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius”, points out that NASA celestial aspirations impacted popular terrestrial concerns: from the civil rights struggle and the antiwar movement to environmentalism, feminism and the counterculture. With the Artemis generation rising, the return to Aquarius constellation astrophysics and significance can be expected.

-- • The Aquarius-Pisces constellation boundary is an interesting region of the sky, as evidenced by the 2017 discovery of the Trappist-1 System. Apollo 11 Moonwalker and acquaintance Buzz Aldrin has expressed strong interest in the Trappist-1 system in the Aquarius constellation, and I expect we will collaborate on some Trappist-1 related matter next year after the current crescendo of Apollo@50 observations and Buzz turns 90 next January.

-- • This Focus Meeting will address science, astronomy, cultures and history and will address the interest of the general public and emphasize the role of the IAU in advancing astronomy “Under One Sky”.

-- • This Focus Meeting will explore Precession Precision, enhanced by Moon-Earth VLBI requires the IAU official constellation map to begin updating to J2000 0 / Epoch 2000 to prepare for complete updating at J2100 0 / Epoch 2100.

-- • Discuss, based on ancient observations, and modern measurements, whether J2000 0 / Epoch 2000 / 2000 AD as the March Equinox point 0° on the Ecliptic when the Sun appears from Earth to enter the Aquarius Constellation