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From Antikythera to the SKA: Lessons from the Ancients.

14:00 Tue 12 Jun to 17:30 Fri 15 Jun 2012



More than a hundred years ago an extraordinary mechanism was found by sponge divers at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera in Greece. This Antikythera mechanism is an ancient computer from about 100BC which uses bronze gears to make astronomical calculations based on cycles of the Solar System. Now, more than 2000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have used the latest techniques in X-ray computed tomography and reflectance imaging to understand its intricate workings. (see Links to Antikythera Mechanism for details)

In June 2012 we plan to hold a workshop linking modern and ancient astronomical technology through the Antikythera theme. We will explore the evolution of astrometry and computing from ancient Greece to the present, we will compare the technologies used to unravel the secrets of the Antikythera mechanism with the imaging tools of modern astronomy, and most importantly, as we pursue our vision of an exciting scientific future with telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array we can reflect on why the Antikythera technology was lost for more than a thousand years and whether this can happen again.

The workshop will be held in the village of Kerastari in the ancient region of Arcadia in Greece. Due to the limitations of the venue, participation will be limited to about 80 people.

Registration and Abstract submission opened on March 6 via web-forms on the workshop website. Hotel bookings at special rates are also open. Details given on the website.

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Tasso Tzioumis

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