The Heavens on Earth: Visualizing the Universe, Popularizing Astronomy in Modern Times
Charlotte Bigg, CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris
This year’s Fifteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop kicks off on Wednesday, June 21, with a public lecture at 7 pm in the Eck Visitor Center Auditorium.
The investigation of the sky has historically been connected to the study of the Earth; narratives about the universe have often chimed with earthly concerns. With the rise of astrophysics in the nineteenth century, the interplay between the heavens and the Earth took on new forms, within science but also in the cultural realm. I will propose a sketch of the interrelated history of the technologies for investigating the universe and of the techniques for popularizing astronomy in the modern age, and how this history has contributed to shape perceptions of the universe and of our place therein. As the stars gradually disappear from our increasingly bright skies, technicolor images and immersive devices promise new vistas, highlighting the paradoxes of modernity.
The lecture will be followed by a reception.