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Pictures in the sky: the origin and history of the constellations

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September
172010

13:00 - 14:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

 

In the days before writing, storytellers used the sky as a picture book to illustrate their tales of gods, mythical heroes and fabulous beasts. Those pictures among the stars were the origin of our system of constellations.

Today, the entire sky is divided into 88 constellations of varying shapes and sizes. This talk, which includes illustrations from some of the world’s greatest star atlases, will trace the origin of the constellation system back to Greek times and explain who filled in the gaps between the ancient Greek figures, who decided on the official boundaries between constellations, and how the names of certain stars came about.

Pictures in the sky: the origin and history of the constellations

Public lecture by Mr Ian Ridpath

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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