Australian aboriginal astronomy - an overview

Ray P. Norris*, Duane W. Hamacher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781461461418
ISBN (Print)9781461461401
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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