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Aboriginal Astronomy

For over 60 000 years the Aboriginal peoples of Australia both studied the stars and named them, with constellations having different names and stories in different regions. Dr Ragbir Bhathal discusses various aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander astronomy.

When: Monday, August 12 2019. 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
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Where: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts
280 Pitt Street , Sydney, NSW, 2000
Topic: Archaeology and antiquity, Space and astronomy
Cost: 15 – SMSA Members and Royal Society Members/Fellows; $20 – Non-Members and Guests;
Bookings: 02 9262 7300
tkc@smsa.org.au
https://smsa.org.au/events/booking-form-ssf-national-science-week/
Other: Wheelchair access
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The Aboriginal peoples of Australia have lived in Australia for over 60 000 years. In that period of time, they both studied the stars and named them, with constellations having different names and stories in different regions. Last year the International Union (IAU), the peak scientific body for astronomers recognized some of their named stars and included them in the official catalogue of stars.

Dr Ragbir Bhathal discusses various aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander astronomy how and its cultural uses such as finding food, telling the seasons and knowing when to conduct ceremonies. Although Aboriginal astronomy has clashed with Australia’s dominant culture, their knowledge of the stars and constellations has been valuable in substantiating and winning land rights.

Seating is limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Event Schedule
6.00pm – Registration/Drinks
6:30-7:30pm – Talk
Light refreshments will be served before the lecture

Speaker
Dr Ragbir Bhathal served as a UNESCO consultant on museums/science centres, was the director of the Singapore Science Centre, one of four science centres of influence in the 20th century, and is a distinguished teaching fellow at the Western Sydney University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and the Royal Astronomical Society London, and a visiting fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The Australian National University. Apart from his research in astrophysics, he also carries out research in Aboriginal astronomy and engineering education. He has written 15 books, including two on Aboriginal astronomy.  He is in great demand for giving public lectures both in Australia and overseas. His astronomy work on OSETI was featured in the international magazine, Forbes which has a circulation of over 1 million copies worldwide. Dr Bhathal is a vocal advocate for an Australian museum dedicated to this country’s first peoples, a museum whose sole task is to tell the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and politics.

Contact details:

SMSA Events
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts and the Royal Society of NSW
Email: tkc@smsa.org.au
Phone: 02 9262 7300

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