Another packed meeting of Keighley astronomical society took place on Thursday 24th March 2016. The guest speaker was Mr Martin Lunn FRAS from Earby Astronomical Society. Viking Astronomy was the subject matter. They were pagans, and worshiped many gods and goddesses, Odin, Thor, Frejya…
When the powerful died, they were burned on a boat. There is very little written accounts from the early Norse period. They were great navigators and feared warriors. Like other civilisations they used the sun and stars to navigate. They would use the Pole star at night and a ‘bearing dial’: basically a sun dial, a type of sun Shadow board during the day.
Mr Lunn explained how the peoples of Scandanavia used the constellations to explain the legends and stories of their gods. They said the universe was created by a giant’s body (his name was Ymer)
The Norse god Tjaste aided by Loki who tried to kidnap Idun but Tjaste was killed, his daughter demanded compensation and Odin and Thor put Tjaste’s eyes in the sky. These two stars we know to day as Caster and Pollex.
Mr Lunn explained the role of the Skalds bards) that recited epic poems and stories and his research to identify the modern constellations known to the Vikings.
The Bifrost (A bridge between two worlds.
Basically the Milky Way)
The Fisherman-Orion’s belt
The Woman’s chariot- Ursa Minor
The Asar Battlefield- Auriga