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Did Aboriginal Australians Discover the Variability of Betelgeuse?

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Jeremy's picture
Last seen: 20 min 31 sec ago
Joined: 04/03/2014 - 22:00
Did Aboriginal Australians Discover the Variability of Betelgeuse?

According to this fascinating paper by Bradley E. Schaefer, the answer is Yes!

The full Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage paper pre-print can be read here.

pmulli's picture
Last seen: 20 min 45 sec ago
Joined: 13/01/2016 - 14:06

What a fascinating article Jeremy, when you think about it with the fabulous pitch black skies of the Australian outback, its a cert that these indigenous people who have lived there for thousands of years, would have noticed the variations in brightness of bright stars such as Betelgeuse and Antares: and may be even fainter stars?

djswan2002's picture
Last seen: 7 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 20/04/2017 - 19:58
Early astronomy

Thanks for pointing out this article, Jeremy.

Grant Privett's picture
Last seen: 3 days 23 hours ago
Joined: 28/12/2014 - 18:30

I'm curious. I know that like the Hawaiians the Australians relied on oral history rather than written records, but I have no idea where they stood with regard number systems and calendars? Presumably they spotted variation but didnt record the period? Have I got that right?