"[S]atellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack. The tools of yesteryear—sextants, nautical almanacs, volumes of tables—are not. With that in mind, the [U.S. Naval] academy is reinstating celestial navigation into its curriculum." A navigation expert speaks about the importance of a lower-tech approach. Want more? Celestial navigation in the classroom. Build your own sextant!
In 1627, Schiller's Coelum Stellatum Christianum attempted to replace the mythical constellation figures with Christian figures. More from the Linda Hall Library Digital Services Unit. Art, illustration, and astronomy aficionados will appreciate the beauty of historic celestial atlas illustrations: Bayer's Uranometria 1603 (also the 1661 Edition), Flamsteed - Fortin Atlas Celeste - 1776 (text intro), Celestial Atlas by Alexander Jamieson. HubbleSource is cleaning up scans from one historic atlas and making them available in web and hi-res versions for use in non-commercial applications. (See also: David Rumsey Map Collection, and the exhibition Out of this World (index & T.O.C.), more Images, Artwork and Historical Objects at the US Naval Observatory. [more inside]
Time of the Season: Conceptual artist Chris Hardman of Antenna Theater has reimagined the calendar. His ECOcalendar abandons the grid concept, instead unrolling like a scroll to define days vertically. Each day appears in its unique position along the arc of gradual seasonal change, with graphics linking stars to tides to the terrestrial world . Radio interview here.