How The Sky Was Seen Then And The Sky Now

The first post today was “More Fairy Adventures.”

I’m not actually going to throw this book out the window. 

But I will tell you about it. 🙂

I have finished reading The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke-Hitchingwhich is an overview of sky thoughts and observations beginning a bit prehistorically and mostly focusing on written records of astronomy starting with the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, and also including a little sky mythology. 
There was a poet mentioned in the beginning of the book who was a priestess of the Moon goddess, Nanna; she wrote a vast amount of writings about her life and occupation. 
The book also mentions a little about “the sea above the sky,” (which I was excited to read). In England as late as the 1500s, people thought above the sky, there existed a great sea that beings moved through in flying vessels, which no one on the ground could see. There was a report that told of a man who had slid down a cable to unfix the anchor of a giant ship there, and the villagers held him just as he’d loosened it, and he died instantly.
The book illustrates and describes the disc-shaped astrolabe, a device that mapped the sky, telling the risings and settings of the Sun and fixed stars, used for prayer times, and had also been used as a model for the twenty four hour clock. 
People who knew the sky, like astronomers were often at odds with the religious authorities, but they would use their knowledge to help people know what time to pray, based on their understanding of the appearance of the sky.
I found it funny that one astronomer in the more recent times had made up stories about his discoveries, such as the discovery of alien beavers, and these were published as satire and to drive that journal’s sales.
The book tells how we are currently living in times in which most advances in astronomy have been made and we have the advanced technology to discover even more. I enjoyed learning how the notion of a fixed, exact, unchanging planetary system was challenged for a more accurate one with “imperfections,” and how the universe is still expanding, that the planets aren’t moving in exact circles but in elliptical orbits, and the concept of space curving around matter, I can feel that time is not an exact thing, have felt time stop in some ways, and see kind of what Einstein was thinking with that idea.
I saw this book as a good overview covering different types of sky theories and science to see about which ones you want to know more, and if like me, you’re not advanced in the subject of astronomy, you may find this book can lead you to the next book you might read that explores a certain theory in more detail.
I am off now, last stop will be “the free library” cabinet where I hope to find some literary classic type book, whether present time or past, or some unknown old book, either from a student who wants to be done with it, or an elderly neighbor, and I will leave two books, or one if only one will fit, and come back and look again another time.

Current Sky

Sun: Pisces

Moon: has moved from Sagittarius (gratefully) 
into Capricorn.

Venus: Pisces for a good while.

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