Exhibition "Meigetsuki and the Latest Images of Our Universe" underway at the Kyoto University Museum (3 September–19 October 2014)

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The Kyoto University Museum is now co-hosting a special exhibition, "Meigetsuki and the Latest Images of Our Universe", together with the Kwasan and Hida Observatories of the University's Graduate School of Science.

The show consists of six sections: "The Meigetsuki", "Yasuaki Iba: Introducing the Meigetsuki to the World", "Issei Yamamoto: Introducing Astronomy to the Masses", "Pioneers of Earth and Space Sciences at Kyoto University", "Mutsumi Ishitsuka: the Father of Astronomy in Peru", and "The Latest Images of Our Universe".

Among the items on display are a variety of rare historical materials, such as a 46 cm Calver equatorial, a core component of a Dallmeyer astrograph, and a Rebeur-Paschwitz tiltmeter.

The "Meigetsuki" is a journal that was kept by poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241), which includes three entries about supernovas ("guest stars") observed by some of the descendants of Abe no Seimei (921–1005) -- valuable records that contributed to the advancement of astronomy during the first half of the 20th century. The present exhibition traces the process by which Teika's mentions of supernovas have come to be known worldwide, with materials highlighting some intriguing historical facts that have recently come to light, the roles played by earth and space scientists at Kyoto University, and other relevant astronomical findings.

The opening of the show was preceded by a press conference and preview event, which drew some 30 people from within the University and elsewhere. After a welcome address by Lecturer Haruyoshi Goto of the Kyoto University Museum, attendees listened to remarks by Professors Emeritus Katsuji Koyama and Shuzo Takemoto before touring the exhibition. The visitors observed the artifacts with great interest, impressed by the telescopes and by the significant role played by the Meigetsuki in modern astronomy.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the exhibition features special commentary on some of the items on display as well as a "Four-Dimensional Digital Universe Theater".

A panel advertising the special exhibition

Part of the exhibition

From left: Lecturer Goto giving a welcome address, and Professors Emeritus Koyama and Takemoto delivering remarks

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