Red Ink and Rewrites Too

Duplicates online comments, to keep track.

The Expanding and Contracting Solar System

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I said I had learned from an astronomer who was once astronomer Kohoutek’s fiancée’s “paramour” that the mnemonic to remember the planetary order was “Matilda Visits Early Monday Just Stays Until Noon Period.” So much for Period or Pluto apparently. It was an interesting time to be in a university when I heard it, Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series was on PBS, his “baby” the Viking planetary explorer landed on Mars and we almost had instant reports to our large “Planetary Atmospheres” undergraduate class. Later I was introduced to more archaeo-astronomy in graduate Archaeology in Anthropology seminar class, where it was shown from Mexico, stone “compass rose” like monuments were found that were used to “aim” the prehistoric architecture at the spring solstice resulting in a shaft of sunlight appearing in a subterranean structure to announce when to plant apparently in the dry climate.

One of Stony Brook’s early PhD’s was in archaeo-astronomy, I recall reading, using a mainframe computer in 1971 or so, like some of the work at Stonehenge, to check out the astronomical alignments of large public architecture, here mostly mounds, found in North America often abandoned in the New World e.g., Etowah in Georgia, Cahokia in Illinois, Moundville in Alabama (which I’ve been to) and other large former settlements, found to have been, at the least, oriented to the transit of the Sun.

The later public exhibitions of the first close-ups from the Voyager explorer’s flyby of the planet Jupiter (not to be confused with Jupiter Hammon, said “considered the first Black writer to publish in America” who I think I read was from Long Island though lived in Connecticut) was also very interesting.


Written by georgejmyersjr

08/25/2006 at 12:36 am

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