By Donald W. Olson
Many mysteries in artwork, heritage, and literature should be solved utilizing “forensic” astronomy, together with calculating levels of the Moon, deciding upon the positions of the planets and stars, and opting for celestial items. as well as assisting to crack tough instances, such experiences spark our mind's eye and supply a greater realizing of the skies. climate proof, volcanic stories, topography, tides, ancient letters and diaries, army documents and the pleasant suggestions of specialists in comparable fields aid with the work.
Topics or situations pursued have been selected for his or her large public acceptance and intrigue and contain artists reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet; ancient occasions comparable to the conflict of Marathon, Julius Caesar's invasion of england, and global battle II; and literary authors comparable to Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Mary Shelley.
For every one old occasion inspired through astronomy, there's a assorted form of secret to be solved. for instance, how can the Moon support to give an explanation for the sinking of the big and a turning aspect of the yank Civil conflict? for every literary connection with astronomy, which celestial items have been being defined and used to be the writer describing an exact event?
Follow those interesting investigations with Donald Olson, a grasp “celestial sleuth,” as he tracks down the reality and is helping get to the bottom of mysteries way back to historic background and as contemporary because the haunting work of Edvard Munch.
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Extra info for Celestial Sleuth: Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History and Literature
To check how much erosion may have occurred, we studied dozens of vintage photographic postcards, which are easy to find because Étretat was such a popular resort. We selected three of the clearest views of the Needle and during our August 2012 visit found the precise spots where the postcard photographers had stood. 14). In both the vintage and modern photographs, we could trace exactly the same sedimentary layers as dark and light bands all the way to the top of the Needle. Thus, we can be certain of the (somewhat surprising) result that erosion of the height of the Étretat Needle is negligible over the last century.
We employed a laser rangefinder to measure distance and a laser inclinometer and a sextant to measure angles (Fig. 13). We carefully allowed for the exact height of the tide at the moment when each measurement was done. Our results established that the exaggerated values of near 70 m [230 ft] for the Needle’s height are clearly incorrect. We observed that, at the time of the lowest possible tides, the top of the Needle stands about 54½ m (179 ft) above the exposed base. When the highest possible tides occur, only 46 m (151 ft) of the Needle remain visible above the waves.
32 Celestial Sleuth Fig. 19 This daytime photograph, taken during our Texas State group’s visit to the scene of the painting, shows a waxing gibbous Moon over Mont Tarare shortly before sunset on August 20, 2010. The probable site of Turner’s stagecoach accident is just to the left of the farm buildings with orange roofs, on the curving road now known as the route nationale N7 (Photograph by Russell Doescher. Used with permission) National Road N7 – The “Route 66” of France Turner’s stagecoach accident in 1829 took place on the road now known as the N7, where the “N” indicates that the modern paved highway is an important national road, or route nationale.
Celestial Sleuth: Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History and Literature by Donald W. Olson