Australian Aboriginal Astronomy - An Overview

  • Ray P. Norris
  • Duane W. Hamacher
Reference work entry


The traditional cultures of Aboriginal Australians include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition, ceremony, and art. This astronomical component includes a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky, and this knowledge was used for practical purposes such as constructing calendars. There is also evidence that traditional Aboriginal Australians made careful records and measurements of cyclical phenomena, paid careful attention to unexpected phenomena such as eclipses and meteorite impacts, and could determine the cardinal points to an accuracy of a few degrees.



We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners and elders, both past and present, of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Indigenous StudiesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Astronomy & Space ScienceEppingAustralia
  3. 3.Nura Gili Indigenous Programs UnitUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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