A podcast about people and nature in northern New York
Stories in the Stars
Alyssa Watson, a Nature Up North naturalist intern, is joined by Dr. Aileen O’Donoghue, a St. Lawrence University professor of physics and lifelong astronomer. Aileen brings the sky to life through her passionate storytelling as she blends the lines between science and culture. Their conversation touches on the historical naming of stars, the night sky as the original clock and calendar, time in space, and the evolution of the human connection with stars. Aileen also gives her advice to beginner stargazers and an interactive way to create your own sundial right at home. Join us in listening to Alyssa and Aileen as they begin to unpack the wilderness above.
Please note, the interview took place on July 14th, 2020. Many references to the constellations, planets, and position of the stars may only be applicable to the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere around the time of the interview. While this episode had several references to St. Lawrence University campus, we note that many areas in the North Country are excellent for stargazing. We encourage you to find someplace dark that is comfortable for you or to take advantage of public spaces around the University.
A full transcription of the episode audio can be found below for accessibility.
8:30 History of stars
9:00 Arabic Influence on star naming
12:00 The original clock and calendar
12:38 The original cultural storybook
15 ? Time in space, explosions
17:06 Ursa major and The Big Dipper; The Loss of the tail
20:00 Symbolism and stories of the sky (storybook)
22:15 Technology and our connection to the sky
26;58 Aileen’s suggestions for beginner stargazers
- 365 Starry Nights by Chet Raymo
28:30 Making mental maps of the sky
31:20 Accessibility and stargazing
Welcome to Naturally Speaking, a podcast from Nature Up North
Welcome to Naturally Speaking, a podcast from Nature Up North. Nature Up North is an environmental education and outreach project based at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. In this first episode, host Kayla Edmunds, intern with Nature Up North, talks with Nature Up North director Dr. Erika Barthelmess and Nature Up North project manager Madison O'Shea about the Nature Up North project and our desire to start a new podcast series. Listeners will learn about the history and mission of Nature Up North, place-based environmental education, community science projects, and what we hope to do with our podcast, Naturally Speaking. We also give an overview of what's to come and highlight some of the goings-on at Nature Up North to take place in the next month.