Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

The first Australians are thought to have arrived around 50,000 years ago 1. These people are sometimes referred to as the world's earliest astronomers 2, although this seems unlikely if current theories of early migration are true (people would have used the stars for navigation before reaching Australia). However Aboriginal Australians were probably were the first people to document stars in the southern hemisphere 3.

Ancient drawings depict the Sun and Moon, and Aborigines are thought to have used the stars for navigation and as a calendar reference.

Aboriginal groups were spread across the continent, and developed many different versions of astronomical mythology.

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2776697.stm
  2. http://sa.apana.org.au/~paulc/loreaussie.html
  3. http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1437646.htm
  4. http://www.atnf.csiro.au/research/AboriginalAstronomy/Examples/emu.htm