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The Astronomy and Navigation of Aboriginal Australians (followed by stargazing)
Aboriginal people in Australia have a rich astronomical tradition such as the “Emu in the Sky” constellation of dark clouds, and stories about the Sun, Moon, and stars, revealing a great depth and complexity of ancient Aboriginal cultures.
Not only did they know the sky intimately, but they were familiar with planetary motions, tides, and eclipses. Their songs and stories show that Aboriginal Australians sought to understand their Universe in a similar way to modern science. They used this knowledge of the sky to construct calendars, songlines, and other navigational tools, enabling them to navigate across the country, trading artefacts and sacred stories.
Stargazing with the audience will follow the lecture outside the Cultural Centre in Kambri.
Professor Ray Norris is an astrophysicist at CSIRO and Western Sydney University, and is also known as a popular science speaker.