John Martineau

The Harmony of the Spheres

NOA Community Centre (Ferry Centre)
Summertown, Oxford

(click for map etc.)

Since the beginning of recorded history man has tried to discover patterns in the motions of the Sun, Moon and five visible planets. Stone circles display knowledge of the 19-year Metonic cycle and may have been used to predict eclipses. The 8-year Venus cycle and the synod of Mars are both immortalised in the calendar used by the Mesoamerican cultures and were perfected by the ancient Maya. The ancient Greeks related musical modes to various planets and more recently Kepler became fascinated by the fundamental relationships between Number, Music, Geometry and Astronomy - the four Liberal Arts of the Quadrivium.

This talk will focus on the planets and major moons of the solar system, the geometries and harmonies they invoke, the patterns they make in space and time, and the simple beauty of it all, long ignored by modern astronomers.

John Martineau is editor of the Wooden Books series and author of A Little Book of Coincidence in the Solar System. He lives and works in Somerset. For more information on Wooden Books, visit

6.00 (Friends 3.00)