People in Early Astronomy
from 2000 BCE to 1000 CE
The Sun God Tablet (detail), Sippar (Babylonian) c. 855 BCE, British Museum asset 91000. Credit: British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Sunday February 13, 2022
3:00 pm EST
free virtual event

Who were the early astronomers?

What did they know about the universe, and how did they observe and learn?

What was the relationship between astronomy and astrology?

All good questions! Join the Friends online for a free, virtual talk by Dr. Sethanne Howard that explores early astronomy from 2000 BCE to 1000 CE. Her presentation will be live-streamed on Sunday, February 13 starting at 3 PM EST. No reservations necessary.

The ''Sun God Tablet''depicts Nabu-aplu-iddina being led by the priest Nabu-nadin-shum and the goddess Aa into the presence of the Sun-god. This scene is sculpted in relief on a limestone tablet from Sippar, c. 855 BCE. Artifacts like this one reveal the ancient origins of astronomy.

Sethanne Howard received a degree in physics from the University of California, Davis, a master’s degree in nuclear physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in astrophysics from Georgia State University. She taught high school physics and university astronomy, worked for a US Naval facility as an oceanographer and meteorologist, and was involved in developing early computer-based image processing for astronomy. She also spent time working at Los Alamos National Laboratory and NASA before coming to the US Naval Observatory (USNO). At USNO, she was Chief of the Nautical Almanac Office and produced the book used as an international standard by the astronomical community. She is now retired. Her hobby is the history of women in science and technology. Her web site dedicated to this effort is now an integrated part of many school and textbook curricula. She also wrote The Hidden Giants about the history of women in science.

In December 2021, Sethanne Howard explained to the Friends that "Black Holes Can Dance!" The recording of her science talk is also available on the Friends' YouTube Channel.

People in Early Astronomy will be live streamed on the