Night Sky

Cultural Diversity and Heritage


Cultural Heritage
Environment protection
Light pollution
The right to the stars

Astronomy and clean skies
Climate Change

Impact of the Study of the Universe in Human Thinking

The observation of the night sky has always represented a basic dimension common to all cultures populating the planet since the earliest times, nowadays we run the risk of reducing our everyday astronomical culture to the exclusive domain of a handful of scientific researchers.

Facing the oblivion of starry skies as nourishment of our everyday culture and inspiring element that shaped an important part of cultural diversity cultural of the Earth's peoples, recognising the need to defend the existing heritage legacy still conserved, several initiatives appear, seeking to recover and restore the windows of imagination that have always been open to the universe, such as:

Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative
The World Heritage Centre, in close consultation with the States Parties, UNESCO Venice Office and ICOMOS, has elaborated the Thematic Initiative “Astronomy and World Heritage”.
The objective of the Astronomy and World Heritage thematic initiative is to establish a link between science and culture on the basis of research aimed at acknowledging the cultural and scientific values of properties connected with astronomy.
Basic Information....>

Travel through time and continents presents the development of architectural forms and landscapes related to the observation of the sky (created thanks to the support of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United-Kingdom)...>

Thematic Initiative "Astronomy and World Heritage" by Anna Sidorenko (Coordinator). Document presented at the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly in August 2006, in Prague during the Commission 41 “History of Astronomy”

Activities of Commission 41 of  the IAU
Commission 41 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) deals with all aspects of astronomical history and heritage, from ancient and indigenous sky knowledge through to developments in modern astronomy that have occurred within living memory. It encourages and supports research in the history of astronomy and related fields such as archaeoastronomy, and is also concerned with the identification, documentation and preservation of vital aspects of our astronomical heritage such as sites, artefacts, instruments and archives. C41 is one of the largest Commissions in the Union, and is a member of Division XII (Union-wide activities).
More information...>

European Society for Astronomy in Culture
The European Society for Astronomy in Culture is a Professional Association of scientists working in the field of Astronomy in Culture or Anthropological Astronomy, including the interdisciplinary disciplines of Archaeoastronomy an Ethnoastronomy. However, researchers in nearby fields of science like History of Astronomy, Mythology, Spatial Archaeology or Cosmology are also welcomed in the SEAC.
More Information...>

The International Institute of Astroarchaeology
It is an
organisation being formed to research and promote awareness of the astronomical features of Irish megalithic monuments dating from the sixth to the third millennium BCE.
More information...>

International Center for Archaeoastronomy
It is orientated to archaeoastronomy, understood as "the study of the astronomical practices, celestial lore, mythologies, religions and world-views of all ancient cultures we call archaeoastronomy. Archaeoastronomy, in essence, as the "anthropology of astronomy", to distinguish it from the "history of astronomy".
More information...>

The Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy museum seeks to inspire the next generation of explorers and scientists.
More information...>

Canoe Tokelau
Canoe Tokelau is an exploration and education project to rediscover, understand, use and share traditional Polynesian ocean navigation, based on night sky observation in the times of long distance voyaging.
More information...>

Time & Navigation

Astronomy Homework Research Help
Compiled by Gary Agranat...>

Links with other references and activities of interest
UNAWE. Universe Awareness for young children...>
The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena - "INSAP...>
The Maya Astronomy...>

Astronomy and cosmology in folk traditions and cultural heritage (2007)...>
Astronomy of Ancient Symposium (2000)...>
International Conference on Archaeoastronomy...>
Cultural Astronomy - University of Chicago...>
Light Pollution Programme - Greek Ministry of Education...>
Chaco's Night Sky Initiative...>
Cultural Context from the Archaeoastronomical Data and the Echoes of Cosmic Catastrophic Events - Conference, Tartu-Tőravere-Viluste-Kaali, 2002...>

Astronomy in cultural landscapes: new challenges for world heritage issues.

NASA Image

Starlight Initiative - Contact >