Conference highlighting cultural significance of the night sky held at National Space Centre

(Credit: Getty Images/vencavolrab)

University of Leicester is hosting a conference today (Wednesday, 8 May) at the National Space Centre focusing on the cultural and ecological significance of the night sky.

The event marks the publication of Stonehenge: Sighting the Sun (Liverpool University Press) by Clive Ruggles (emeritus professor of archeoastronomy, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester) and Dr Amanda Chadburn (Historic England).

The conference will also explore current issues in the protection of astronomical heritage through contributions from several continents and views from indigenous peoples.

Speaking at the event are:

  • Steve McCluskey (North American Indigenous Astronomy, West Virginia U.)
  • Dani Robertson (International Dark-Skies Association, Snowdonia)
  • Sophie Chiari (Eco-Shakespearean Research, Université de Clermont-Ferrand)
  • John Steele (Mesopotamian Astronomy, Brown University)
  • Clive Ruggles (University of Leicester, UNESCO-IAU liaison)
  • Amanda Chadburn (Historic England)

The event will also feature the ‘Noctalgia: Dark Skies Matter’ artwork of Bethan Maddocks; Wilfred Buck’s First Nations (North American) constellation story-telling and Indigenous (Australian) astronomy by Duane Hamacher and Pete Swanton.

Co-organiser of the event and PhD researcher at University of Leicester, Amy Arden said: “We're excited to bring together a global audience, and presenters from four continents, to celebrate the cultural importance of our night sky.”

More information about the event can be found here.