Jan 25, 2018 7:00 pm - Sam Noble Museum of Natural History - Postcards from the Universe
Dr. Kerry Magruder/Brent Purkaple - OU
Historic Star Atlas Stories

Thomas Carlyle spoke for all of us when he lamented… “Why did not somebody teach me the constellations, and make me at home in the starry heavens, which are always overhead, and which I don’t half-know to this day?”  In this richly illustrated presentation, come hear stories of the constellations and the early star atlases that portrayed them.  

 From the Renaissance to the dawn of the modern age, art and science fused together in the representation of the stars and constellations. Historic star atlases combined state-of-the-art scientific observation of the cosmos with appreciation for the aesthetic dimension of the sky.  Galileo inscribed OU’s copy of his Starry Messenger to a poet.  Art, music, literature and astronomy merge in humanity’s creative and ongoing exploration of the stars and constellations.  We will examine images of the constellations from the star atlases of Bayer, Hevelius, Flamsteed, Bode and various other historical sources, to discover how the wonder of the sky at night is common to science, literature and art. We will also show how to access these images for your own creative, educational, or research-related projects. 

 Constellation images appearing in this presentation are taken from the original rare books of the OU History of Science Collections.  Many of these books were featured during 2015-2016 as part of Galileo’s World joint-exhibitions at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the National Weather Center, and the Schusterman Library on the OU-Tulsa campus.  After the presentation, a reprise of “The Sky at Night” portion of Galileo’s World will be available for viewing on the 5th floor of Bizzell Memorial Library until 10 pm.