Matariki: Culture & Astronomy
This presentation covers both cultural and astronomical aspects of Matariki. We normally present this topic between May and July but we're happy to do it at any time of the year. We can do this presentation at the Space Centre (up to 60 people per session) or at your venue.
Suitable for all ages.
The main talk is around one hour, comprising two halves:
Part 1: Cultural Aspects
- The history of the Pleiades star cluster in cultural mythology around the world.
- Similarities and evolution of different mythologies.
- The importance of the Pleiades in early calendars.
- Matariki in Aotearoa:
- Historical significance.
- Different stories.
- Local and national Matariki events.
Part 2: Astronomical Aspects
- Location and appearance in the night sky.
- Why Matariki is important to astronomers.
- Evolution and future of the star cluster.
- A look at the individual stars and nebulosity (interstellar gas).
- The Pleiades in science fiction, new age astronomy, etc.