Archive for October 8, 2018

10/08/2018 – Ephemeris – My investigations in the local native people’s star knowledge

October 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day, depending on your point of view, Monday, October 8th. The Sun will rise at 7:49. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 7:10. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

For the last six or so years I’ve been studying the constellations and stories of the Anishinaabek people native to this region of North America. The impetus to really dig in came with an invitation to speak at the Grand Traverse Band’s museum. I had admitted that I knew nothing about it, And apparently, the museum curator didn’t know an elder with the knowledge. With a couple of suggestions, I did some research on the Internet and books. Over the years I have introduced these constellations and related their stories, especially the Fisher who brought summer to the Earth. He replaces the Great Bear in the sky, and his bloody tail will swoop down to paint the trees with their autumn colors.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Fisher brushing his tail along the horizon
An animation of Fisher brushing his tail along the horizon on autumn nights. Created using Stellarium.

The Anishinaabek constellation drawing of the Fisher is from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide  by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbets and Carl Gawboy available locally and online.  They are part of the latest editions of Stellarium, a free planetarium program.  Links to it are on the right.  Other information and links are available within the Sky Lore tab.

Here’s one of the links:  It also contains links to Lakota star maps and lore.

My story of the Fisher is here:

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