astronomy education


The oldest depiction of the universe

This is one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century and the oldest depiction of the universe so far. Called the Nebra sky disc, named for the town where it was found in 1999, the artifact has been dated back to 1600 BC. It was buried about 3,600 years ago but could be much older. It has been associated with the European Bronze Age Unetice culture.

When it was first crafted, it would have been golden brown because the disc itself is made from bronze. Over time, the it corroded to green. Fortunately, the symbols are made of gold and thanks to them we know it was possibly an astronomical instrument.
There’s Sun, a central to northern European Bronze Age religion and the crescent moon (in ancient times, the moon was used to represent time). The clump between the sun and moon are thought to be the Pleiades constellation, which was an imporant constellation for Bronze Age farmers because it appeared and disappeared in important farming times. So the Nebra disc could have told people the right time to plant and harvest.

What’s more, astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser, at the University of Hamburg, found that if you draw a line from the center of the disc to the top and bottom end of the right arc, the angle between the two ends measures exactly 82 degrees. And it’s the same value for the left golden arc. This number is very important for only a small group of people who live at the same latitude as the current German town of Nebra since it’s the angle between where the sun sets on the horizon in mid-winter and mid-summer.

The bronze disc combines an extraordinary comprehension of astronomical phenomena enabling to peak into the early knowledge of the heavens. It’s   shocking it was almost lost to the black market.

Volcán de Fuego and Perseid Meteors

Sergio: “This photo features Volcán de Fuego, in Guatemala, erupting with three conspicuous Perseid meteors streaking across the sky. It was taken on the night of August 13, 2017. I had to work quite hard to find a spot offering a view of both the night sky and the volcanoes that wasn’t cloud-covered. This entailed a night on the go and even a 30-minute trek through a river valley. At right is Acatenango, like Fuego, an active stratovolcano. Note the lamps of the climbers on its upper flank. The two bright stars above the volcanoes are Deneb at left and Alpha Cephei at right.”

Credit: Sergio Montúfar

Location: Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala

Coordinates: 14.482778, -90.882778

Image Date: August 13, 2017

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Technical details:

A 22 image composite; ISO 5000; f/5.6; 10 second exposure for each image.

#Earth #Astronomy #Science #Space #Meteors #Perseid #Stars #Volcano #Eruption #VolcánDeFuego #Stratovolcano #Geology #Geoscience #Astrophotography #Guatemala #CentralAmerica #Photography #STEM #Education #EPOD

In ancient Greece the study of astronomy was linked to the same physical principles as musical harmony.  For example, many Greek thinkers believed that each of the planets and stars created their own unique sound as they traveled through the cosmos, thrumming like an enormous guitar string light-years long.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Music and creativity in Ancient Greece - Tim Hansen

Animation by Together

Watch on

Jean Painlevé. Voyage dans le Ciel. 1937.


#MyOneScienceTweet: The best way to get children into science is for them to experience science. 

That’s why we sent 300 kids outside for the eclipse.

Anne-Marie, a 13 year old teen journalist with ROM Reporters, had this to say about the eclipse: 

“Events like the solar eclipse are special, but rarely do kids get the chance to see them with the equipment we got to use. Seeing events like the eclipse give us the opportunity to learn about new things outside of our typical lessons, or to see what we’ve learned in a new way. Experiences like the one we had today open up our world and make us curious about all of its possibilities.”

More on the eclipse, written by ROM Reporters, can be found here!

By @kironcmukherjee. Last update: October 30th, 2017.


Aurora Borealis, The Milky Way and airglow

Rusland: “While the Milky Way was in the Southern part of the sky, the Aurora Borealis was dancing for a short period of time in the Northern part of the sky. And airglow! It stretched almost across the whole sky, but waves were only visible with the naked eye near the Milky Way.”

Credit: Ruslan Merzlyakov

Location: Rubjerg, Denmark

Image Date: September 16, 2017

Technical details: Canon EOS 6D + Samyang 24mm f/1.4 + iOptron Skytracker

#Earth #Astronomy #Science #Space #Aurora #Borealis #NorthernLights #Stars #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Airglow #Skywatching #Astrophotography #Photography #Art #Rubjerg #Denmark #Danmark #STEM #Education

Camping under stars in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia. Landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: Mike Reva (Михаил Рева)

Location: Issuk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Release Date: August 15, 2017

Commission for Dark Skies

Technical details: Canon 6D + Samyang 24mm f2,0 ISO 5000 30s

#Astronomy #Science #Stars #Space #Moonlight #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Astrophotography #Photography #Panorama #Art #Earth #Kyrgyzstan #Кыргыз #Кыргызская #IssukKul #Lake #Asia #STEM #Education

The Milky Way over Western Australia

“The Milky Way behind a silhouette of gum trees near Lake Leschenaultia in Mundaring, Western Australia. This location almost borders the Perth metropolitan area so I was a bit surprised at how dark the skies were there. This particular shot was a spur of the moment decision as I was about to put all my gear back into my car after doing a large panorama at the nearby lake.”

Credit: Flickr user inefekt69

Image Date: June 17, 2017

Location: Lake Leschenaultia, Mundaring, Western Australia

Release Date: June 23, 2017

Commission for Dark Skies

Technical details:

50mm, 29 x 6s, ISO 3200, f/2.0, Stitched in MS ICE.

29 photo, 400 megapixel mosaic

#Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Cosmos #Universe #Panorama #Astrophotography #Art #Earth #Lake #Leschenaultia #Trees #Gum #Australia #STEM #Education