(... and ASTRONOMY)

Astronomy Tutorial
    Intimate familiarity with the night sky was everyone's possession thoughout history and was part of the pleasant and necessary furniture of everyone's mind, influencing all human arts including poetry, philosophy, politics, religion, and exploration. In the middle ages, astronomy was considered to be one of the seven liberal arts, not a technical science or path to a career. This was all destroyed in the modern world by the invention of electric lighting.  For many people the sky is unknown territory, but it's not the fault of Thomas Edison, it's the fault of modernity's refusal to accept the glorious inheritance of the past.

    Schola Astronomy is a practical, observational attempt to remedy this. We'll learn to identify and delight in the planets, principal stars, and constellations of the whole sky for every month of the year, learn some of the history and literary connections (where stars and constellations show up in poetry and other literature, including the  myths behind them as well as Biblical connections), learn to find directions and time by the stars (even when the North Star is not in view), make sundials, and have regular star-gazing assignments. We'll survey ancient, medieval, and modern astronomy and cosmology. No advanced math is involved, although some basic math is, and there are no prerequisites other than some knowledge of earth science. No equipment except the textbooks is required, although some inexpensive items (binoculars, red map lights, sky atlases, etc.) will be recommended for those who are interested in further exploration.  The real point is to learn to find your way comfortably around the night sky and connect that knowledge with history and literature from Homer to C. S. Lewis.

    The course is best suited to students sixteen years old and up, and especially those who have done a fair amount of ancient and medieval literature, but these are not strict requirements.

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