Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Story of Alakitja

Alakitja was a large rock cod, a fish who lived in the water of the River, the Milky Way. He swam to reach his favourite water hole. He swam carefully past the fishtraps placed there by the Sky People. He swam past the many water lilies with their white flowers shining so brightly that people could se them, and they called them stars. Finally he reached a water hole, where he rested under a rock way from the hot Sun.

The Two Brothers were hungry. They had been busy making mountains and rivers on Earth and they now looked for food. They crept up to the water hole and saw the gigantic fish Alakitja. They drove their spears into Alakitja and pulled the fish from the water hole.

They shared the fish and each brother made his own campfire. They can still be seen there today. The two campfires are the stars Delta Crucis and Gamma Crucis. The two brightest stars of the cross, Alpha and Beta Crucis, are the Two Brothers. The fish is the dark patch close by (the Coal Sack).
The two pointers, Alpha and Beta Centauri, are friends of the brothers who are waiting for their share of Alakitja the fish.
The Southern Cross (Right), the Coal Sack (Middle), and the Pointers (Left)
 - all in the Milky Way.
Source: Questacon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aboriginal Astronomy Lecture at Lake Tyrrell

Below is a 4-part video of the Lake Tyrrell lecture on Aboriginal Astronomy by Paul Curnow (BEd), a Lecturer at Adelaide Planetarium.  His talk places a focus on the astronomy of the local Boorong (Wergaia) people.

The video is a bit dark, but the audio is clear and Paul does a great job at explaining the Western and Aboriginal aspects of the night sky.  Enjoy!