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Wed 16 OctTIME
How much was known about astronomy in ancient times, before the written word? Did people worry about what happened in the sky? What was their picture of the Universe? This illustrated talk by Prof Mike Edmunds will try to describe what the surviving archaeological record – particularly of standing stones – may and may not be able to tell us. Stonehenge will feature – but there is a lot more besides, both from Britain and abroad. This is a controversial subject, requiring a tightrope walk between evidence and speculation.
Mike Edmunds completed his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (specialising in Physics) at Cambridge and then carried out a PhD at the Institute of Astronomy. His first research was in stellar spectroscopy, investigating the chemical compositions of stars. On moving to Cardiff University, he extended this research to the investigation of the chemical composition of galaxies by the analysis of the spectra of nebulae. Much of this work was done in collaboration, and also involved the theoretical modelling of the chemical evolution of galaxies and the Universe. Other research interests included the formation of interstellar dust, particularly in early galaxies, and also some aspects of statistical astronomy.
From 1999 a programme of research developed on the Antikythera Mechanism, a geared astronomical calculator dating from the first or second century B.C. Mike was the academic lead on an international programme involving UK, Greek and US scholars, engineers and scientists that undertook X-Ray Computed Tomography of the remains of the device, leading to an understanding of its functions and translation of its inscriptions. Mike is now Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Cardiff. He is currently involved in writing about the formation of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1820, in preparation for its bicentenary. He is a former Vice-President of the Society.
This lecture, in the Celestial Stonehenge series, is free to attend but tickets must be reseved in advance by calling 0370 333 1183. See below for further details.
|English Heritage members||Free|
Free but tickets must be reserved in advance.
This lecture is free to attend but places are limited and must be reserved by calling the Bookings Team (Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 9am - 5pm) on 0370 333 1183. Telephone bookings will close at 3pm the day before the event.