Episode 9: Ancient Egyptian Astronomy, with Sarah Symons

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Feature Guest: Sarah Symons

Our guest today is Professor Sarah Symons who joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to enlighten us about ancient Egyptian sophisticated conceptions of the night sky. The conversation ranges from understanding the intimate interplay between the supernatural and the scientific, to the practical uses of the stars for such purposes as predicting the flood of the Nile, and to the role of special classes of stars in ancient Egyptian myth and ritual.

Dr. Symons shares her enthusiasm in detailing how the night sky was at the centre of Egyptian religion. Pharoahs sought to transform themself into celestial beings, while the very body of one goddess formed the foundation of the Egyptian conception of celestial regularities. To close their conversation, the two reflect on why ancient Egypt continues to catalyze so much wild and crazy pseudo-scentific and pseudo-astronomical theorizing.

In Current in Space we discuss the illuminating findings from the nineth collection of UFO files recently turned over by the British government, then prepare for the August 6th landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover by exploring the many unique attributes of this most exciting mission to the red planet.

The Star Spot team is hosting a party and you’re invited. Join us in downtown Toronto on Friday August 10th. We’ll toast to Curiosity’s touchdown and the opening of a new door in Martian exploration. We’ll also be celebrating the 10th episode broadcast of The Star Spot podcast and radio show. More details in the preceding blog post below.


‘Unique’ astronomical object reveals Ancient Egyptians kept close tabs on the Big Dipper

A supermoon and solar flares: What on Earth is going on in space?

Integrated Science program at McMaster (Hamilton)

How Mars Rover Curiosity’s Nail-Biting Landing Works (Pictures)

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to starspotpodcast@gmail.com.

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