Letters of Intent received in 2019

LoI 2021-2080
Precession, Constellations, Epochs and Cultural Astronomy

Date: 19 August 2021 to 19 August 2021
Category: Focus meetings (GA)
Location: Busan, Korea, Rep of
Contact: Steve Durst (info@iloa.org)
Coordinating division: Division A Fundamental Astronomy
Other divisions: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Co-Chairs of SOC: Steve Durst (International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA))
Qing Lin (Shanghai Science & Education Publishing House)
William Waller (Galactic Inquirer)
Somaya Saad (Helwan Observatory)
Khaled Abdalla Edris (Al Azhar University)
Co-Chairs of LOC: Steve Durst (International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA))
Hyesung Kang (Pusan National University)
In-Ok Song (KAIST)
Joon-Young Choi (Busan National Science Museum)



'Under One Sky'



• This Focus Meeting Will Explore and Popularize the Theory of Precession, Constellations and Culture and Inclusivity of Astronomy, Throughout History:

-- • This discussion would help inclusivity, equality and communicate astronomy theories of precession, epochs as well as constellations, to the public. This would make it possible for Billions of people around the world to learn about the 88 constellations – not just the 12 they know today.

-- • Today, less than 0.5 % of the world population uses the star map computer 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.

-- • Public interest in the history of astronomy is evident by the endurance and prominence of the ancient Korean Observatory, Cheomsungdae, and its role in sharing the knowledge of Astronomy with everyone. Lack of public knowledge of constellations today reflects a lack of engagement and inclusivity by the scientific community- since 1928.

-- • 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, inclusivity and history of astronomy.

• This Focus Meeting could increase possible media outreach in Busan, Korea during GA 31:

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

-- • Discussion of how China had 28 Constellations and Ancient Egypt had a Circular Sky Constellation until they later changed them to the Constellations on the temples in Upper Egypt, with influence from ancient Greece

-- • Discussion of constellations in Ancient Greece and how their theories influenced astronomy in the Near East.

-- • Discussion of Ancient Korean Constellations and how they and the Chinese Constellations developed, and their cultural significance.

-- • Invite paper about Constellations in Hawai’i and other islands.

-- • Reference to the Star of Bethlehem and other significant cultural astronomical events, that occurred in various ages would interest many people.

-- • Discuss precession and explore recalculating one line in the 1928 Delporte sky map, and how it compares to ancient constellations.

• IAU Constellation Map and Uranometria Argentina and Constellations Boundaries:

-- • 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.

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

-- • Delporte’s 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 whether modern society believes 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 discussion will include science, astronomy and culture and will address the interest of the general public and emphasize the role of the IAU in advancing astronomy “Under One Sky”.

• Possible Recommendations of Focus Meeting could be:

• Whereas 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.

-- • And whereas IAU / Astronomy 21st Century advances will benefit both Science and Society.

-- • Thus Resolved, the IAU hereby recognizes 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.

-- • Honor ancient cultures and Include reference to constellations and culture of ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii and other cultures who relied on the stars for navigation and communication with each other.