Journal article

Indigenous use of stellar scintillation to predict weather and seasonal change

DW Hamacher, J Barsa, S Passi, A Tapim

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria | Published : 2018

Abstract

Indigenous peoples across the world observe the motions and positions of stars to develop seasonal calendars. Changing properties of stars, such as their brightness and colour, are also used for predicting weather. Combining archival studies with ethnographic fieldwork in Australia’s Torres Strait, we explore the various ways Indigenous peoples utilise stellar scintillation (twinkling) as an indicator for predicting weather and seasonal change, and examine the Indigenous and Western scientific underpinnings of this knowledge. By observing subtle changes in the ways the stars twinkle, Meriam people gauge changing trade winds, approaching wet weather and temperature changes. We then examine ho..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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