What is the reason why `` astronomer '' is in demand in court?

In today's courts, where accurate evidence from forensic investigation is emphasized, experts in various fields such as medicine, engineering, and psychology are called to court. In fact, at first glance, astronomers who pursue the world of celestial bodies that are unrelated to the troubles on the earth are often called to court, and Mr. Brad E. Tucker of the Australian National University who has submitted evidence in trials throughout Australia. wrote about his trial experience as an astronomer.

Where was the Sun? Here's why astronomers are more useful in court cases than you'd think


According to Tucker, most of the evidence that astronomers submit to court is data that calculates the position and brightness of celestial bodies such as the sun and moon. Thankfully for astronomers, the tools used to calculate the positions of celestial bodies are so precise that they can be calculated hundreds or thousands of years into the future or into the past.

The most obvious scene that requires the insight of an astronomer is a case in which a person who caused a traffic accident claims that ``the sunlight was dazzling in my eyes.'' It's true that sunlight can blind people, but the amount of light depends on many factors, including season and location. Therefore, expert knowledge is required to determine where the sun was at the time of the accident and how it was related to the direction of the road and the direction of travel.

The moon can also serve as evidence in court. In particular, if the incident happened in the middle of the night and the scene was in a dark place far from the lights of the city, there are cases where the brightness of the moon that night is submitted to the court as evidence. thing. In addition, in historical events, the appearance and phases of the moon, that is,

the phase of the moon , may be used to define when the event occurred.

Like any other field, astronomy has its limits. For example, when a person looks at the moon through a window, the appearance may differ depending on the window's refractive index and weather conditions, so there are cases where astronomers alone cannot handle it.

Advances in science and technology have had a major impact on law and crime, and satellites in particular have come to be used in many cases around the world. According to Mr. Tucker, satellites are also being used as evidence of military movements and war crimes in Russia's Ukraine war, which began in 2022.

Satellites are also used to investigate crimes such as smuggling and illegal landmine laying. Satellites are also used in Australian criminal cases, and experts are needed to provide satellite images and explain what they mean.

``Working as a witness gave me hope,'' Tucker said of his cooperation in many cases. Because you can see with your own eyes how detailed and accurate judiciary judges things, such as the phases of the moon and the position of the sun. This is also a clear example of the importance of professionals in society.

At the end of the article, Tucker said, ``Space and astronomy can also have a direct impact on people's lives through experts in the field. ' said.

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks