Two Deserts, One Sky: Arab Observational Astronomy and Star Lore


Marshall 490
845 N. Park Ave Room 490
Tucson , AZ


Fri, 02/05/2016 - 3:00pm to Fri, 08/12/2022 - 8:57pm


Join The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and CMES for our Spring 2016 Colloquium Series

Danielle Adams is a PhD Candidate in MENAS

The desert sky we see here in Tucson, Arizona, is the same desert sky that Arabs have observed for millennia. Two Deserts, One Sky is intended to bring the richness and depth of astronomy in ancient Arab cultures to modern awareness. This project for the first time presents ancient Arab astronomical traditions within their own cultural contexts, instead of fragmented within the confines of Greek-oriented modern astronomy. From explaining the meaning and usage of star names in ancient star calendars to examining their continuing impact on modern-day astronomy around the globe, this project is designed to build bridges of understanding and foster greater appreciation for the vast heritage of Arab astronomy. 


Danielle is a PhD student and 2015-2016 NASA Space Grant fellow at the University of Arizona’s School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and the School of Anthropology. Danielle holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas (2000), and she spent three years living in Beirut, Lebanon, where she focused her studies on classical Arabic poetry. In October 2015, she launched a new project called "Two Deserts, One Sky: Arab Observational Astronomy and Star Lore." (Read her Star Calendar Blog at Danielle is translating 1200-year-old Arabic astronomical texts that have never before been accessible to English-speaking scholars. An amateur astronomer and astrophotographer for more than 30 years, she brings a familiarity with the night sky to her study of Arabic astronomical texts and is for the first time reconstructing the fragmented Arab celestial complexes.