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Sky observation and mythology: paths to an astronomical culture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2011

Victor Alves Alencar*
Departamento de Física, Centro de Ciencias, Universidade Federal do Ceara, Campus do Pici, 60455-760 Fortaleza, Brazil email: Scientific and Didactic committee of the Brazilian Astronomy Olympiad, Brazil
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The teaching and the popularization of Astronomy, nowadays, suffers from the absence of attractiveness. It's, somehow, consensual that the most efficient approach to attract the general public or even an uninterested student to the Astronomy is the sky observation. With the help of instruments like telescopes or binoculars, the observation of aesthetical impressive objects such as galactic clusters, approaching planets and many others may have a great impact upon those people. We have been executing an efficient and attractive didactic method which has been evaluated permanently for more than two years and has shown great efficiency that consists in the utilization of legends and myths from different cultures (including Brazilian Indians myths, in an etnoastronomical approach) about the constellations and their dispositions in the sky. The objective of this panel is to show the efficiency of the method and some of its teaching routines always beginning with myths or legends involving a great number of constellations (using, preferentially, most of the watchable sky in a certain time of year), using asterisms for identification and then following to a certain constellation from which it is possible to extract the information required for the studied subject.

Contributed Papers
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2011


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