Is it getting harder to figure what’s right and wrong today? With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many challenge the narrative as different rules seem to apply to different people depending on which side of the story you are on. Truth never takes sides and applies to all regardless of your viewpoint. Archeoastronomy, the historical understanding of the sky, seems to fit in this category. Around the first century B.C., many reputable Greek scholars like astronomer Claudius Ptolemy observed Sirius as Red rather than its traditional bright blue. Roman Stoic Seneca agrees with this even though he lived a century later during Christ’s ministry.
During the first century at the original Good Friday April 03rd, 33 A.D., there was a thick darkness at high noon for 3 hours like the one the Prophet Moses recorded in the Book of Exodus (10:21-23) for 3 days. It was so dark that people could not see each other. I have experienced this level of blackness when going in sublevel caves and when you turn the lights go out, it is scary to say the least. The pyramids like in Egypt and solar temples like England’s Stonehenge are a small example of structures still standing today built by the ancients to study the cosmos. Some believe they are places of veneration as sun worship was common in rural areas. In Southern Alberta,14 medicine wheels (like the one near Majorville) alone have been visited by archaeologists at CFB Suffield, Canada’s largest military training base and home to 2,700 square km of virgin prairie. Over 2,000 additional sites on the massive data base have been recorded containing similar structures, cairns, stone figures, and more. Archeoastronomy properly studied is unlocking much of our past and possibly proving our ancestors knew much more than we have been led to believe!
Sky watch for the next month: Download this month’s sky free chart at https://skynews.ca/canadas-night-sky-july-august-2020/
1 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse- Saturday, July 04th look SE at 21:42 as it rises in semi eclipse lasting until 23:52.
2 Venus brightest before dawn- Friday, July 10th look NEE from 3:15 am until dawn as it will be at magnitude -4.47, the brightest object in the sky besides the Moon.
3 Saturn opposition and daylight scoping- Monday, July 13th you can take a good telescope and spot Saturn’s rings during the morning----a real treat!
4 Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak- Monday Jul 27th look in the constellation Aquarius 1-2 hours before dawn as it expected debris from comet 96P Machholz will fall at a rate of 15-20 per hour. With no moonlight, it’ll be a good show.
Public Events for the next month:
The 2020 Alberta Star-B-Q- Mark down Friday, July 17th to Sunday 19th for a family fun weekend. Just two hours away from Calgary near Caroline, Alberta, you and your family can enjoy a "cost-friendly" outing. A fun "astro-weekend" including camping, observing, a guest speaker, Saturday dinner and door prizes. Starting at $25.00 per person and for further information, check out http://calgary.rasc.ca/starbq2020.htm.
Happy Long Days of Summer and Keep Reaching for the Sky!
Neel Roberts is a member of the Calgary chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)-the nation’s leading astronomy club founded in 1849 with over 5,000 members and 29 centers across Canada. Neel welcomes your questions and comments at (403)560-6574, Neel_Roberts@ptccanada.com. The members meet once a month on weekends at Calgary’s Rothney Observatory near Priddis and you can check out times at https://www.ucalgary.ca/rao/calendar. Like them at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/272037680377/, Twitter https://twitter.com/CalgaryRASC & YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/RASCCalgary.