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Chasing Stars in Chairs

Since early times, humans have looked at the sky wondering if somebody else is out there. Are the dark lines on the surface of the moon canals dug by extraterrestrial life? Will we find life in the oceans of the moons of Saturn or do we have to look further out in the universe?

Normally we only hear about the instruments used to enhance the eyes of the scientist. This evening will be something else. We will take in consideration another significant instrument – the chair of the astronomers – to investigate if it has any influence on astronomy and how it is done.

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Chasing Stars in Chairs

Vælg dag
01/03

Dr. Omar W. Nasim, an award-winning historian of science and philosophy

Astronom (MA-student) Nanna Bach-Møller

Information

In cooperation with Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University, we bring together a historian of astronomy and an astronomer (MA-student) who has just returned from Chile chasing exoplanets and extraterrestrial life with the Danish 1.54-metre telescope. They will enlighten us on how science is done and how the little things have an influence. Donkeys interrupting lunch, desert climate, sleeping hours and the way you sit.

Dr. Omar W. Nasim, an award-winning historian of science and philosophy from the University of Regensburg, will take us back in time and put the object of doing astronomy into perspective with an alternative method – by analyzing the chairs and the way the astronomers sat in them, Omar will enlighten us on their influence on astronomy and the history of science.

We have all seen an astronomer pictured next to his or her instrument, perhaps posing next to a famous telescope or peering through its eyepiece. But what you might not have noticed is the chair; often in the same depiction, but easily overlooked.

Once you see these chairs you cannot miss them —they tend to be everywhere in the history of astronomy. In this presentation, Omar W. Nasim attempts to unearth the cultural significance of displaying chairs in engravings and photographs for nineteenth-century audiences.

By understanding what the chair and the bodily postures visually communicated, we will also come to understand their function in observing.

After Dr. Omar W. Nasim analysis, Astronomer Nanna Bach-Møller will tell us about her experiences of chasing exoplanets through the giant Danish telescope located on Mount Silla in the deserts of Chile, from where she was blogging about her work. She will enhance our knowledge on how it is to do astronomy when attempting to find out if these planets, circulating other stars, inhabit extraterrestrial life.
Read her blog from Chile here. (In danish only)

Please note that the talk will be held in english.

Info

Længde: 1 time og 45 minutter

Sprog: Engelsk

 

Program

19.15 – 20.00
Chairs of astronomers, with Dr. Omar W. Nasim historian of science and philosophy at Regensburg University, www.omarnasim.com

20.00 – 20.30
Exoplanets – behind the scenes, with Nanna Bach-Møller, astronomer, blogger and master student at University of Copenhagen. Blog from La Silla Observatory in Chile

20.30 – 21.00
Questions and discussion