Why are there bears in the sky? Who exactly was Orion?
Who originally named the constellations, and why? These and other mysteries
were explored in a new planetarium show about stellar mythology created in a
collaboration of Dickinson classicists and astronomers. The idea came from
physics and astronomy major Kristen Recine (’10), who operated the planetarium
and pointed out the constellations. The script was written by Prof. Francese
(Classical Studies) with help from Prof. Karen Lewis (Physics and Astronomy),
classics and physics double major Derek Frymark (’12) and physics major Anubhav
Mohan (’10). The 30 minute show debuted
in late October, as a session of Prof. Francese’s Greek and Roman mythology
class, and will be repeated under the auspices of the Dickinson Astronomy Club
in the spring semester of 2010. Spiffy images of the constellations from early
modern star maps like the one shown here were kindly supplied by Dr. Nick Kanas
(Prof. of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco) from his
collection. Prof. Kanas is author of Star Maps: History, Artistry and Cartography
(Springer, 2009). Watch this space for an announcement of the next showing!