Astronomy lecture to explore roots of Bible stories

David Sattinger

What are the origins of our seven-day week? Why do the Jewish holidays move around from year to year? Why are there 12 tribes of Israel, as well as 12 apostles and 12 stations of the cross?

David Sattinger will offer answers to these questions in a presentation on “Naked Histronomy: A History of Astronomy before the Telescope,” on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., when the Secular Humanistic Jewish Circle holds its next Oneg Shabbat at the Murphy-Wilmot Library.

Sattinger’s talk will reach back five millennia, when the Sumerians and their successors, the Babylonians, laid the foundations for modern astronomy. He will share details such as the Babylonian origin of the name “Esther” and the roots of familiar Bible stories in early myths and astronomical discoveries.

Sattinger received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. He has taught mathe­matics at UCLA, the University of Minnesota and Yale University. Since his retirement in Tucson, he has become a docent at Kitt Peak National Observatory, where he began exploring astronomy and its close relation with mathematics.

The Murphy-Wilmot Library is located at 520 N. Wilmot Road. Attendees are asked to bring a light snack to share. RSVP to Susan at 577-7718 or srubinaz@comcast.net.