About Hollis R. Johnson

Hollis R. Johnson received BA and MA degrees in physics from Brigham Young University and a PhD degree in astrogeophysics from Colorado University in Boulder. After an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at the Paris Observatory and a postdoctoral stint at Yale University, he took a position as professor of Astronomy at Indiana University, where he stayed for 31 years, with sabbatical years at the High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, in Boulder, Colorado; at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California; at Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; and at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is now emeritus professor of Astronomy, Indiana University. He is married to Grete Leed of Horsens, Denmark, and they are the parents of six children.

One Day to a Cubit

Abstract: An investigation of ancient astronomy shows that a cubit was used not only as the metric of length (elbow to fingertip) but also as a metric of angle in the sky. That suggested a new interpretation that fits naturally: the brightest celestial object—the sun—moves eastward around the sky, relative to the stars, during the course of a year, by one cubit per day! Continue reading