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The Great Star Catalogue: Australia's contribution 1887 - 1964

Friday 15th March 2019 - 8:00pm
Topic: The Great Star Catalogue: Australia's contribution 1887 - 1964
Speaker: Dr Toner Stevenson

Download a PDF of the presentation HERE.

Toner's publications are here:

‘Measuring the stars and observing the less visible: Australia’s Participation in the Astrographic Catalogue and Carte du Ciel’, Doctoral thesis, The University of Sydney, 2015. 

Stevenson, 2014. ‘Making Visible the First Women in Astronomy in Australia: The Measurers and Computers Employed for the Astrographic Catalogue’, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Vol 31.

Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Australia’s decision in 1887 to participate in a major international astronomical project to produce an Astrographic (Star) Catalogue and Carte du Ciel (Chart of the Sky) ultimately involved Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth observatories. Participation in this project promised to bring development of Australia’s capability in astrometry and recognition of the capability of the astronomers but there were many major hurdles. In this presentation we will travel back in time to discover the development of photographic technologies and astrometry, we will uncover evidence of the interference of the Colonial Secretaries and Astronomers Royal and the sometimes catastrophic impact of two world wars and economic depressions. Through a contemporary lens we will focus on the significance of this star catalogue and the momentous and unacknowledged contribution made by women in its production to observe why the Great Star Catalogue is relevant today.
Biography: Currently Manager of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry for the University of Sydney, Toner Stevenson has extensive museum and heritage experience as Manager of Sydney Observatory, Head of House Museums for Sydney Living Museums, project manager for the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, London and at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. She has a passion for astronomy, and her doctoral thesis focussed on Australia's participation in the Astrographic Catalogue. Toner is an avid eclipse chaser, vice president of Sydney City Skywatchers and observes the Moon, stars and planets whenever possible.

Event Date: 
Friday, 15 March, 2019 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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