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Sirius and the Dog Days

Posted 26.05.2015Comments • You are here: Ranger Diary » General
As the month of May settles in over the bush our summer constellations are setting and our major winter constellation of Scorpio is rising. And so we bid farewell to the hunter Orion and his two companions Canis Major and Canis Minor. According to Greek Mythology they represent the two dogs that hunt the heavens with Orion. Canis Minor’s primary star is called Sirius (Greater dog) and is the brightest star (after the sun of course) in our skies. It is 8.7 light years away and with the speed of light at close to 300 000 km per second that makes it the 5th closest star to earth. The name Sirius means The Scorching One. It is intriguing that Sirius is known as a “Dog Star” in three different and unique Dog Days in the Stars As the month of May settles in over the bush our summer constellations are setting and our major winter constellation of Scorpio is rising. And so we bid farewell to the hunter Orion and his two companions Canis Major and Canis Minor. According to Greek Mythology they represent the two dogs that hunt the heavens with Orion. Canis Minor’s primary star is called Sirius (Greater dog) and is the brightest star (after the sun of course) in our skies. It is 8.7 light years away and with the speed of light at close to 300 000 km per second that makes it the 5th closest star to earth. The name Sirius means The Scorching One. It is intriguing that Sirius is known as a “Dog Star” in three different and unique civilizations. In medieval Arabian mythology the same star is known as Al Kalb al Akbar; The Greater Dog. In Egypt, Sirius was known as the god Anubis with the head of a jackal on the body of a man. At the time of the year between mid- summer and September Sirius rises before dawn and this marks the season of the flooding of the Nile River. The floods brought the silt that fertilized the valley and water that grew the crops. In ancient times the days between July and the September floods that were balmy and hot in Egypt and became known as Dog Days – an expression that is still used today for hot still weather with an air of anticipation. . In medieval Arabian mythology the same star is known as Al Kalb al Akbar; The Greater Dog. In Egypt, Sirius was known as the god Anubis with the head of a jackal on the body of a man. At the time of the year between mid- summer and September Sirius rises before dawn and this marks the season of the flooding of the Nile River. The floods brought the silt that fertilized the valley and water that grew the crops. In ancient times the days between July and the September floods that were balmy and hot in Egypt and became known as Dog Days – an expression that is still used today for hot still weather with an air of anticipation.
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