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Presentation of the website URANOS


URANOS is one of the SELEFA websites (www.selefa.asso.fr) dedicated to astronomy on its cultural side : it is specialiased in astral nomenclature,  sky figures and star lore in the different civilisations and cultures.  

This documentation IS FOR ALL PUBLICS:

Who is not enchanted by the spectacle of the night sky?

All the civilisations have populated the starry sky of beings and marvellous objects which shaped in celestial figures accompanied by myths and fantastic legends.

We know the Greek figures and myths, but very little Mesopotamian ones, however at the origin of half of the 44 Greek constellations.

We do not know much more Arab figures and legends which are however at the origin moreover of the two-thirds of our star names…

URANOS wants to contribute to fill this gap.

Vincent Van Gogh, The starry sky, 1889

But it also gives elements on the astronomy of the other cultures, old and contemporary, the culture of the Chinese, the Indians, the ancient Egyptians, the people of America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. This website aims thus to give a contribution to make know and share the cultural heritage of humanity.



URANOS is a Tool for animators and pedagogues:

To pay attention to the representations and imaginary celestial of civilisations which preceded our, just as with other cultures in the world is not of only one aesthetic or anthropological interest.

The imaginary representations of the starry sky often assume quite practical astronomical functions: description of the sky, location in the space, sidereal calendar, clock of the night, etc.

They also constitute for this reason an invaluable instrument at the disposal of astronomical centers educators and pedagogues, in particular the teachers in charge of initiation to astronomy: they may indeed usefully employ sky  figures and star lore as a springboard for initiating the youth to astronomy et its history, contributing thus to make less arid this field of knowledge.

Such un activity  is to be replaced within the framework of the following project:

The Sky, our Common Heritage

(Research Project)

Also existing also in Arabic & in French





URANOS is a research and documentation website that SELEFA puts at the disposition of researchers and passionate amateurs of history of astronomy just as celestial representations and star lore.

* It is more specially devoted to the history of celestial  representations.

* It must be used more particularly to deliver a documentation on the various strata of the formation our celestial voults, such as it is validated by IAU (International Astronomical Union) : Mesopotamian, Greek, Arab and European.

* A particular stress is laid on gathering a documentation on Arab celestial imaginary, such as it arises from classical literature and popular traditions as well. See  this project:

Star Lore in the Arab Sky

(Research Project)

Also existing also in Arabic & in French

It will deliver also, for a purpose of comparison, and as far as possible, datas on astronomies of other civilisations such as the Chinese, the Indian, the ancient Egyptian ones, and more genrally on astronomy of other peoples and cultures, touching so the diciplines of archeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy.



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