28 September2000 CfA Colloquium


Title: Historical Supernovae

Speaker: F. Richard Stephenson

Abstract: F. Richard Stephenson has made a detailed investigation of observations of historical supernovae recorded between ancient times and the 17th century. Over that period, possibly as many as eight supernovae were observed. Records are found in such varied sources as Chinese astrological treatises, medieval Arabic and European chronicles, and European works on astronomy from the Renaissance period.

This talk will deal with the following aspects: description of the various historical sources of "new star" records; interpretation of the observations which are preserved; discussion of individual supernovae; and identification of their remnants.

Reference for students:

"The sands of time and the Earth's rotation" Stephenson, F.R. & Morrison, L.V. 1998, Astronomy and Geophysics, 39, 5.8-5.10

"The supernova of AD 1181 - an update" Stephenson, F.R. & Green, D.A. 1999, Astronomy and Geophysics, 40, 2.27 - 2.28

"The earliest drawing of sunspots" Stephenson, F.R. & Willis, D.M. 1999, Astronomy and Geophysics, 40, 6.21 - 6.22

"Early Chinese observations and modern astronomy" Stephenson, F.R. 1999, Sky and Telescope, 2, 48-55

Lunch with the students will be on Friday 9/29 at 12:00 in A-101.