Podcast: Agriculture, Ecology, Awe and the Cesar Chavez Solar Calendar

Santiago Casal, founder and project director of the César Chávez Solar Calendar talks with Nancy Alima Ali from UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab about the connections between agriculture and solar calendars. Topics discussed include solar alignment sites from around the … Continue reading

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Podcast: Easter and the Missing Days

In this podcast conversation with Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, we explore the intricacies of calendars in determining the date of Easter. He explains how Easter is connected to the phases of the Moon and discusses the basis for the Gregorian calendar, including the reform which resulted in the disappearance of 10 days.

http://cosmoquest.org/x/365daysofastronomy/2015/03/26/mar-26th-easter-and-the-missing-days/

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Podcast: Maya Astronomy

In this Cultural Astronomy podcast on 365 Days of Astrononomy, Tzeltal Maya artist and archaeoastronomer Alonso Mendez shares his knowledge about Maya astronomy, including the ground-breaking research he and his collaborators are doing at Palenque. Topics discussed include the importance of Palenque to understanding ancient Maya culture and history, astronomical symbolism and kingship, and astronomical alignments of the Temple of Inscriptions and Temple of the Cross at Palenque.

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Podcast: Native Skywatchers

In this conversation with Annette Lee, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, we will explore how astronomical and cultural knowledge is embedded in sky stories. An artist-scientist of Native American ancestry, Lee’s interdisciplinary … Continue reading

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Podcast: Solstice Edition

Explores the astronomical meaning and cultural connections of the winter solstice, including relationship between solstice and length of day, importance to agriculture, symbolic associations with death, divine rulers, and renewal. Discusses winter solstice connections at Cesar Chavez solar calendar, Stonehenge, … Continue reading

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Celebrations of Death & the Sun

It is that time of year: the dead are stirring. Rising up, making themselves seen, reaching through the veil that separates them from the living. While much of the outward emphasis of Hallowe’en is on costumes and candy, the roots of this celebration go much deeper and are connected to the movements of the Sun and Earth.

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The Sky: Our Local Space Representative

“Whatever we do, wherever we go, whatever happens on this crowded surface of interactions constituting our world, there is also the sky. The sky is a familiar – we might even say ‘local’ – representative of space.”

I love this quote from Tarthang Tulku (a Tibetan Buddhist teacher) because it simultaneously puts things in perspective and makes me chuckle. The perspective comes from the reminder that there are things, such as the sky, that are much greater than my personal problems. The chuckle comes from a visual image that popped into my head the first time I read these words. For some reason, my brain zeroed in on the phrase “local representative” and I immediately got a picture of The Sky running for a seat on the U.S. Congress. Just imagine The Sky on the campaign trail…

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Music of the Spheres: Self-Portrait

I had the good fortune last week to spend my Saturday painting with a group of teenage girls and astronomers. After exploring a variety of different astronomical images, we sat down to canvases and acrylic paints to create self-portraits based … Continue reading

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