Ancient Astronomy Day

Tags: Ancient Astronomy Day, Mike Edwards, Antikythera Mechanism, Sundial, classics, Classical Civilisation

On 20th January, the East Oxford Community Classics Centre ran an Ancient Astronomy Day! The event involved a range of workshops, talks, activities and stalls for both Cheney students and the wider community. The British Sundial Society came to run a series of workshops for Design & Technology and History groups where students learned about how the Greeks and Romans told the time before constructing their own card sundials. 

Alongside this, Professor Mike Edmunds from the University of Cardiff visited for the day to talk to groups about the fascinating Antikythera Mechanism, a highly complex piece of equipment used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. 

At lunch time and after school, a wide range of classicists and astrophysicists came to put on stalls and activities. These included making comets out of dry ice, making paper orreries, learning about the constellations, and a tour of the universe; the Museum of the History of Science brought a beautiful armillary sphere and astrolabe which students and visitors were able to handle, and astrophysics students brought a telescope. There was also astronomy-themed face-painting, Roman dishes (some of which were made by students involved in last term's Roman cookery project), a lucky dip of stars, and many more activities to enjoy.

Students and community visitors all had a brilliant time exploring the universe through the eyes of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and we are very grateful indeed to the British Sundial Society, Professor Mike Edmunds and all our volunteers who came to run exciting activities, demonstrations and stalls.