african astronomy constellations

african astronomy constellations插图

The Big 5 of the African Sky are five celestial objects that represent the best specimens of each type of deep-sky class: theSouthern Pleaides(an open star cluster),omega Centauri (a globular cluster),the eta Carinae Nebula (a bright nebula),the Coal Sack (a dark nebula),and the Milky Way (a galaxy).

What is the history of astronomy in Africa?

As a new millennium arises, scholars still consider the study of astronomical practices in African Societies an open one. Astronomical studies happen in Arabic, Ge’ez, Hausa and Swahili, studying celestial symbols such as the sun, moon, star, comet etc. Embedded in African history showing new evidence of the African involvement in astronomy, …

What is Cosmic Africa?

Cosmic Africa is a project/documentary about astronomy in African cultures, exploring astronomy among two of the oldest African tribes: the Namib (or Bushmen or San) of Namibia, and the Dogon people of Mali . I heard this documentary one evening on PRI.

What is African constellations doing now?

African Constellations now also produces dollies and cards to be used for Systems Constellations in individual therapy. The dollies are our first women’s economic empowerment initiative in South Africa. We support mothers to learn doll-making as a source of income for their families, and help to market and distribute the dollies worldwide.

What are the Southern Stars in South Africa?

Bright southern stars. The Southern Cross (Crux) and the two bright Pointers (alpha and beta Centuari) are probably the most recognizable of the southern stars, and they feature prominently in African star lore. In Sotho, Tswana and Venda traditions, these stars are Dithutlwa, “The Giraffes”.

What did the Xam Bushmen believe?

While the /Xam Bushmen believed the stars were formerly people, some !Kung Bushmen taught that stars are, in fact, small creatures, and look like tiny porcupines – they have little legs, ears, teeth and are covered with tiny spines.

What is the most obvious feature in the night sky?

The Moon. The Moon – iNyanga to the Xhosa and Zulu, Nwedzi to the Shona and Venda, and Ngwedi to the Sotho and Tswana – is probably the most obvious feature in the night sky, because of its size, brightness, and changing appearance (phases). As the Moon orbits the Earth it goes through a sequence of phases, from New Moon (invisible) to crescent, …

Why do kung bushes think the sun is dead?

The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen think of the Sun as a “death thing” because of its searing heat and the association with thirst, hunger, and exhaustion. The /Xam Bushmen would ask the Sun, early in the morning before they set out to hunt, to steady the hunter’s arm when aiming at game.

Why did the first Bushmen throw his head up into the sky?

So one day, out of desperation, the First Bushmen chopped off his head and threw it up into the sky so that his light could be shared with everyone. On rare occasions, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, resulting in a solar eclipse. If the alignment is exact, then the entire Sun is momentarily blacked out.

How did the Milky Way come to be?

In /Xam Bushmen star lore, the Milky Way was created by a girl of the ancient race who scooped up a handful of ashes from the fire and flung it into the sky. This made a glowing path along which people could see the route to return home at night. She also threw bits of an edible root into the sky, the old (red) pieces creating red stars and the young (white) pieces creating white stars.

What is the sky made of?

A wide-spread African concept is that the sky is a solid dome, perhaps made of blue rock, resting on the Earth, upon which the Sun moves. The traditional Tswana idea is that stars are holes in the rocky vault that is the sky.

Why was the moon placed in water?

In the old times, it was said, the Moon was one of the leather sandals of the Mantis-god /kaggen. The sandal was placed in water to soften it somewhat, but this angered the water spirit who then froze the water, locking the sandal in ice.

How did Africans use celestial knowledge?

Africans used celestial knowledge to chart seasons and to regulate agricultural cycles and ritual calendars . Celestial bodies were used to coordinate both work and social activities; they played and continue to play roles in divination, spatial design, and decision-making.

What can we learn from cultural astronomy?

Like Chinua Achebe’s character Ezeulu, we could learn much by turning our gaze to the moon and heavens. In the opening of Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece, Arrow of God, the protagonist, an Igbo chief priest named Ezeulu, …

Is Africa a monolithic country?

Africa is not , of course, a monolithic entity and the moon embodies polyvalent meanings. Hanging like a lamp in its bright fullness, it illuminates an evening’s entertainment. Obscuring in its absence, it covers intrigues and machinations.

What is the challenge of astronomy in Africa?

In a study on the development of astronomy in Africa by Govinder K published in June 2011, a significant challenge is the absence of public understanding of modern scientific knowledge, leading to misconceptions. As different cultures have different propositions with the sky and their operation, the inclusion of contemporary science which may clash …

Where is the SAAO telescope located?

It is in Sutherland. The second largest at 1.9m diameter, The SAAO telescope, was built for the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria but now located in Sutherland. The largest telescope in North and Central Africa and the Middle East (1.88 diameters) at the Kottamia Observatory, northeast of Helwan in Egypt.

What is the only radio telescope in Africa?

Asides from providing a relationship, the Africa Millimeter Telescope will serve as the only radio telescope in Africa. It would serve as an excellent opportunity for scholars, researchers, science enthusiasts and Namibia as a whole.

What technology has led to the development of astronomy?

Various technologies lead to the development of astronomy, which nations that have taken into account have benefited. According to researchers, the Iphone’s camera, a device created and developed by Apple, is a charge-coupled device which converts the movement of electrical charge into a digital value. The astronomy invention now serves as a source of benefit to societies involved, thereby boosting their technological advancement.

Where is the Africa Millimeter Telescope located?

Also in 2020, The University of Namibia and The Radboud University Nijmegen, through a partnership signed in 2016, were reported to have added to the strings of mega astronomy projects as reported in April 2020, The Africa Millimeter Telescope, a 15-m single-dish radio telescope to be positioned on the Gamsberg Mountain in Namibia.

Where is the Southern African Large Telescope located?

It is in Sutherland.

Where is the oldest technological achievement in the world?

Africa is home to the world’s oldest technological achievement in the world, with evidence found in NorthEastern Africa. A 7,000-year-old stone circle known as Nabta Playa located approximately 100 kilometres west of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, which is older than the Stonehenge in England, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument which was …

What is the interloper in the Pleiades?

The interloper is actually the planet Venus. (Figure 3 from today’s paper.)

What are some examples of female celestial bodies?

Female animals appear in constellations, such as female giraffes in Crux and a female steenbok as the brightest star in Pavo in G/Wikhwena San culture. The Tuareg of the Sahara consider Polaris (the pole star, which appears stationary in the sky) to be a Black woman, who keeps still for fear that the other stars will kill or enslave her. For the |Xam people of South Africa, a girl creates the Milky Way by throwing ashes and roots into the sky. In Ancient Egypt, the sky goddess Nut “swallows the Sun ( Re) every night and gives birth to him in the East every morning” and her daughter Isis (the star Sirius) follows her husband Osiris (the constellation Orion) across the sky to put him back together after he was killed. Isis (and earlier Hathor) were both associated with the star Sirius and served as mother/female goddesses. Lastly, such as in the Akan of Ghana, many important ancestral women are said to have come down from the sky, giving them authority as they are “of the land that they now occupy.”

What did the Sun do to the Earth?

The Sun fell in love with the Moon and dried out the Earth, and the Moon created rain to make the Earth fertile again, releasing humans (the children of the Sun and Moon) upon the Earth. In Carthage, Tunisia, the Moon goddess of fertility Tanit was their patron deity for many years starting in the 5th century BCE.

What is the name of the goddess of the Pleiades?

The Arimi of Tanzania named the Pleiades “Kiimia” and considered her to be the supreme wife and mother, with her return in September marking the end of the dry season. Her characteristics signalled the ideals for women in their culture, such as caring for people and offering water to those in need.

How many days does the moon change?

The phases of the Moon change on a ~29 day cycle as the moon revolves around the Earth, changing our perspective on how it’s illuminated by the Sun (see Figure 2).

How many stars are in the Pleiades?

The Pleiades are a tight cluster of stars, brightly visible in the night sky. There are 6 main stars (with an occasional seventh interloper, Venus) and are often considered a group of sisters or sometimes a clutch of eggs.

What is the significance of women in Africa’s sky?

Women of Africa’s sky are magical goddesses of creation, and also women who have suffered or been punished, showcasing the breadth of human experience.

What are the Big 5?

The Big 5 of the African Sky are five celestial objects that represent the best specimens of each type of deep-sky class: the Southern Pleaides (an open star cluster), omega Centauri (a globular cluster), the eta Carinae Nebula (a bright nebula), the Coal Sack (a dark nebula), and the Milky Way (a galaxy).

When can I see the Big 5?

All five objects will not be visible at the same time. This is mainly because the Milky Way is a large object and it will take more than one session to see it at its full extent. There are a number of tools you can use to find out when a particular region of sky is visible. You could, for example, use the Southern Star Wheel planisphere, a free DIY download. Your favourite planetarium program (e.g. “Stellarium”) or app (e.g. “Google Sky Map”, “Sky Safari”) are also great options. The following table gives a general indication of when the Big 5 can be seen.

How do I report my observations?

Collect your observations of each object, add your observing journal entries (and sketches if you made them) and submit them to the ASSA Deep-Sky Section. The easiest way is to send an e-mail to the Section Director, Auke Slotegraaf. A great idea is to share your observations with other observers: you can post your notes on the Big 5 Facebook Group and on the ASSA Deep-Sky Section YahooGroup mailing list.

What happens after I submit my observations?

All reports will receive feedback from the ASSA Deep-Sky Section. If you’ve successfully observed the Big 5, your name will be listed on the ASSA website Big 5 Honour Roll. You will also be issued with a virtual sticker – a graphic that is created uniquely for you, officially hosted on the ASSA website, that you can link to and embed in online media. In addition, extracts of your descriptions and journal will be published on the ASSA Deep-Sky Section webpages for other observers to read and enjoy.

What are the brightest parts of the Milky Way?

The brightest parts of the Milky Way are in Sagittarius, Scutum, Norma and Carina. The accompanying table gives their celestial coordinates and basic data. Two star maps illustrate their general location, with one map devoted specifically to the Milky Way.

What is the Southern Sky?

The magnificent southern sky is a starry realm richly sown with a treasury of deep-sky objects: star clusters, bright and dark gas clouds, and galaxies.

Which star cluster is the most representative of open star clusters?

The representative of open star clusters is the Southern Pleiades. First amongst the globular star clusters is the overwhelming omega Centauri. Bright nebulae are represented by the majestic eta Carinae Nebula. The mysterious dark nebulae are represented by the Coal Sack. And the most splendid galaxy of them all is our own Milky Way Galaxy.

What is the king of the jungle?

The lion, which is the king of the jungle,…purely African! I simply loved it. The sky is interpreted in African terms: giraffes, lions, and zebras are seen among the stars where other people see bears and horses.

Who are the Bushmen of Namibia?

The Bushmen of Namibia are the oldest people in Africa, as well as in the world. They have lived in the Southern area of Africa for the past 20,000 years, and their celestial stories are just as old. In the documentary, I love the way their celestial stories, and their story of creation was centered around the lion. Isn’t it interesting? The lion, which is the king of the jungle,…purely African! I simply loved it. The sky is interpreted in African terms: giraffes, lions, and zebras are seen among the stars where other people see bears and horses. From the documentary, one sees that the Namib (Bushmen or San) healers welcome the bright evening star, the planet Venus, with a special dance…. The elders observe the shadows cast by the Sun and still count the days by the phases of the Moon, orient themselves, decide when to hunt, harvest, etc… with the sky . They call the Milky Way the Spine of the Night and observe its three different positions during the night: it tells them about time and the changing seasons. Read more about the Khoisan people of Botswana and their fight for survival amidst government/Corporation’s menace.

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