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Download Celestial Sleuth: Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, by Donald W. Olson PDF

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By Donald W. Olson

For a basic viewers drawn to fixing mysteries in paintings, background, and literature utilizing the tools of technology, 'forensic astronomy' is an exhilarating new box of exploration. Astronomical calculations are the foundation of the reports, that have the benefit of bringing to readers either evocative photographs and a greater knowing of the skies.

Weather evidence, volcano stories, topography, tides, old letters and diaries, well-known work, army files, and the pleasant tips of specialists in comparable fields upload style, intensity, and curiosity to the paintings. the selected themes are chosen for his or her huge public popularity and intrigue, regarding artists resembling Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, and Ansel Adams; historic occasions comparable to the conflict of Marathon, the demise of Julius Caesar, the yank Revolution, and global battle II; and literary authors equivalent to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Joyce, and Mary Shelley. This publication units out to reply to those mysteries indicated with the capacity and services of astronomy, commencing the door to a richer event of human tradition and its dating with nature.

Each topic is thoroughly analyzed. for example utilizing the research of sky work by way of Vincent van Gogh, the analytical technique would come with:
- computing device calculations of ancient skies above France within the nineteenth century
- discovering and quoting the clues present in translations of unique letters via Van Gogh
- making web site visits to France to figure out the right destinations whilst Van Gogh organize his easel and what celestial gadgets are depicted.

For each one historic occasion prompted by means of astronomy, there will be a special form of secret to be solved. for instance:
- How can the part of the Moon and time of moonrise support to give an explanation for a turning aspect of the yankee Civil conflict - the deadly wounding of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville in 1863?

For every one literary connection with astronomy, it was resolute which celestial gadgets have been being defined and making an issue that the writer is describing an exact occasion. for instance, what was once the date of the moonlit scene while Mary Shelley first had the belief for her novel “Frankenstein?”

These and extra enjoyable riddles will enchant and enjoyment the fan of paintings and astronomy.

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Extra resources for Celestial Sleuth: Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History and Literature

Example text

During the 1920s Otto Krebs, a German industrialist in the village of Holzdorf, acquired White House at Night for his private collection. When the Nazis rose to power, the painting became even more inaccessible. Fearing political reprisals against collectors of what the Nazis considered “degenerate art,” Krebs in the 1930s and 1940s had to avoid attracting attention to his holdings. Kostenevich described what happened during the Russian pursuit of the retreating German army in 1945: “Private collections and museum objects…found their way into specially prepared bunkers…Guns were still firing when Soviet troops began to discover these bunkers…Soviet representatives sent to the East everything they considered important… 38 Celestial Sleuth Art objects were coming in from different places, in railroad cars…” (Kostenevich 1995: 9).

Our computer calculations for June 1890 place Venus in the western sky, above and to the right of the white house, 42 Celestial Sleuth Fig. 4 The windows in the upper story of the white house have uneven spacing and, more distinctively, do not align directly above the windows on the ground floor. These odd misalignments exactly match the windows in van Gogh’s painting (Photograph by the author) exactly as seen in the canvas. The radiant “star” painted by van Gogh must actually be the “evening star” – the planet Venus in the evening twilight glow.

17) gave us a warm welcome to their town. Old maps in the Tarare archives clearly showed the mountain road that Turner’s stagecoach would have employed in 1829 (Lépinasse 2000: 18). Nicolas Céard, famed for his accomplishments as Napoleon’s road engineer and celebrated Monet and Turner, Masters of Sea and Sky 31 Fig. 18 The yellow highlighting indicates the route followed by Turner’s stagecoach on January 22, 1829. The highway from Lyon toward Paris travels generally toward the northwest, but the road swings toward the north just west of the town of Tarare.

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