What's Next? Resources to Learn More

Pre-Dawn Star Gazing
Framework of Time
Heaven on Earth
Planets, the wanderers
Catastrophe! Precession
It's Written in the Stars
About this Site
Feedback Form
Links, Books, the Sky itself
Ancient World Web Books Star Charts
Essays Mythology Monuments
Basic Astronomy Ancient Astronomy Medieval Astronomy
This site is, by necessity, a teaser. There is so much more that could be said about most of these topics, and I certainly don't know all of it. Also some of the beauty of this, can be best appreciated as personal 'aha!'s come from interacting with this material over time.

Here are resources that can fill in some of the holes I've left.

Most importantly, remember that the night sky is still there. Although city lights obscure much in populated areas, the planets & major stars are usually still visible. If you can get out of the city, look up and compare!

You can develop your own feel for what our ancestors once knew so thoroughly. You can read some of what they have written, in the sky, and in our consciousness over all of those thousands of years.

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Essays on this site, by other authors

Stellar Lore by Jake Stratton-Kent (1978)
This essay complements the other information on this site, discussing several constellations, precession, ancient holidays, myths, and connections between these things.

Ancient World Web

The Ancient World Web
An organized guide to sites about ancient peoples around the world. It includes topics from ancient documents, scholarly journals, and museums, to cuisine, myth and religion, and alternative theories.

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The only books listed are ones that I have read. I suspect that there are other good books, and I would appreciate hearing about them.
Stairway to the Stars, by Anthony Aveni
Aveni starts by clearly showing how the stars appear to move at various latitudes. He also discusses the Sun, Moon, and Venus cycles in some depth. Then he discusses what is known of the astronomy of three ancient cultures as demonstrated in their surviving monuments, Britain, Mexico, and Peru.

Secret of the Incas, by William Sullivan
Sullivan applies the principles described in Hamlet's Mill, in his analysis of the myth and history of the Incas and their ancestors. He shows in clear examples, how the important turning points in the history of this people are encoded in their myths, using astrononmical terminology which allows us to figure out when they occured.

Hamlet's Mill, by Giorgio Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend
An exhaustive look at the astronomical themes and terminology in myths worldwide. This book is densely packed with information. It is not an easy read, but a very important one in this field.

Find the Constellations, by H.A.Rey
A guide to identifying all the major northern hemisphere constellations and where to find them at each time of year. The way he draws the lines joining the stars into constellations actually makes sense! The sky maps are shown with and without lines on facing pages. The 1982 printing includes a guide to planet locations through 2006. The humorous style, cute pictures, bright yellow cover are just what you'd expect from the author of the Curious George picture book series, but this book is great for adults as well as children.

The Stones of Time, by Martin Brennan
Brennan explores several Irish stone monuments. He not only records their alignments, he investigates the markings people made on the stones and shows how they were probably related to the movements of celestial bodies as well.

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Sky Charts - locating stars & planets

What's up this month
Like the name says, what is going on in the sky, this month.

Astronomy and Space interactive web resources
Your Sky - create custom star maps. Solar System Live - specify date and location for picture of planet locations. Free related software tools.

MWO Services - Star Map
Here you can create star maps for the location, date, and time of your choice in PostScript file format for printing on your printer. Ghostscript free viewer available.

The Dome of the Sky
Has skycharts for 5 latitudes.

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Star stories/lore in world cultures:
Star Myths of the Greeks & Romans
This site is promoting a book of translated classical writings. The chapter on Delphinius the Dolphin is available online as a sample. They also have classical images of the constellations online. and "some basic facts about the classical constellations"

Aboriginal(Native American) Star Knowledge
Native American star stories.
Also http://ind4.fdl.cc.mn.us/~isk/stars/stareye.html is about learning the sky through naked eye observations.

Mythical & Geographical Names found in this Constellation Myths Page
Greek myths about constellations, associates names from Greek myth to constellations.

Constellation Myths
Greek myths for constellations, and translations of Arabic names of major stars

Create a Constellation
Create a Constellation is a lesson plan for a school project. It has synopses of Ursa Major (Big Dipper) myths from several cultures around the world, not just the Greek.

Encyclopedia Mythica
Encyclopedia of Myths, little blurbs on many names.

Myths & Legends
A very comprehensive directory of sites on myths from all over the world. There is also a non-frames version.

The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras
How Mithraism relates to astronomy

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Monuments, Observatories, Alignments

Prehistoric Web Index
A guide to webpages about megalithic sites sorted geographically, by type, or alphabetically, also a map (western european focussed).

Egyptian and Indian archaeoastronomical sites
photos & brief descriptions

Archaeoastronomy in Gotland
About a Swedish site where grooves in rocks mark astronomical alignments.

Astronomy in Japan
A comprehensive site with info on Japanese star lore and astronomical sites

Chilean Archaeoastronomy

Britannia: Earth Mysteries
Archaeoastronomy of stonehenge and other megalithic sites

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Basic Astronomy

From Stargazers to Starships
This clearly written and illustrated page from NASA shows how to find the pole star, explains seasons, sun angles, precession, kepler's laws and more.
Project Astro
A descriptive introduction to basic astronomy the page Ancient Models of the World has brief descriptions and charming illustrations of how the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, and Greeks conceived of the world, but the only link to it from the rest of the site is disguised as a picture of earth on the Astronomy in different cultures page.
Stars and Constellations
Interactive Sky Charts - a java map for constellations. You can zoom in and out, toggle viewing of constellation outlines and names, and adjust how many of the background stars are visible. You can even pick whether the outlines are the usual ones, or the ones done by H.A.Rey (author of the Curious George picture books).

Constellations and major stars are listed alphabetically and by month of appearance with locational information, brief mythological associations and links to other web sites related to the constellation.

Also available: Calendar of monthly planet positions, Instructions on understanding astronomical coordinates, a star FAQ, photos of the Milky Way.

Constellation FAQ
How many constellations are there? How old are they? etc

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Other Ancient Astronomy

Babylonian Planetary Theory
dense, academic details about Bablyonian astronomy

Maya Astronomy page

The Center for Archaeoastronomy

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Medieval Astronomy

Out of This World Exhibition
Exhibit of beautiful images from old celestial atlases.

The Planets and their Children
Images and poems describing people born in the signs each planet rules.


The Muse Urania
About the Muse of Astronomy in English and Italian

Adventures in AstroArchaeology
Illustrated essays - explaining specific astronomical information in various mythologies and monuments (from the pyramids to Santa Claus!)

Books others recommend (I haven't read these)

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