July 14 Lecture By Astronomer Marks New Program’s End 


The Hailey Public Library will host astronomer Catherine Slaughter in her final WRV presentation on Thursday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m. at Hailey Town Center West. Exploring the theme Indigenous Astronomy, Slaughter will discuss the history and development of astronomical knowledge, tying together ancient indigenous science to modern discoveries. The talk is free.

“No matter where they lived, indigenous peoples around the world were blessed with a dark night sky and pondered what they saw,” commented Kristin Fletcher, HPL’s programs and engagement manager. “They observed closely and maintained detailed knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, visible planets, stars and even constellations. It has been said that ‘indigenous astronomy’ is the first astronomy, starting thousands of years ago with the Australian Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.”

In the 9th-13th centuries, it was Islamic cultures in the Middle East and elsewhere that played a substantial role in furthering astronomical knowledge and a significant number of stars are still known by their Arabic names. More recently, Greek and Roman nomenclature was integrated into our understanding of the night sky and this is how many of our most well-known constellations like Orion and Cassiopeia received their names.

Slaughter is the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve’s inaugural Astronomer in Residence. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy and Physics from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Here, she studied stellar evolution and globular clusters which are stable, gravitationally bound clusters of stars numbering in the tens of thousands to millions. She is completing a Master of Science in Astronomy Research from Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands, with a focus on the impact of particular stars in the Orion Nebula.

Hailey Town Center West is located across from the library at 116 S. River Street in Hailey. For more information, contact the library at (208) 788-2036 or visit www.haileypubliclibrary.org. 

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