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02/18/2020 – Ephemeris – Orion in three cultures

February 18, 2020 Comments off

Feb 18. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 6:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:37. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:24 tomorrow morning.

We observe the constellation of Orion in the south at 9 p.m. and think of the hapless Greek hero. To the Hebrews it was Kesil, the fool who built the tower of Babel hoping to reach heaven. To the Anishinaabe native peoples of this place it is the Wintermaker whose rising in the evening announces the coming of winter. Where Orion’s arms carry a lion skin shield and a club, the Wintermaker’s arms are exaggerated and extend from Aldebaran in Taurus to Procyon in Canis Minor, embracing just about all of the winter sky. Two other Anishinaabe constellations are entering the skies at this time in the east and northeast, to announce the coming of spring. One the pleasures and the other the dangers.

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

Addendum

Orion

Orion as he is seen tonight at 9 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Wintermaker

The Wintermaker stretches his arms wide to embrace the winter stars. Created using Stellarium. Wintermaker figure from Ojibwe Sky Star Map by A. Lee, W. Wilson, C. Gawboy.  Stellarium contains the constellation art from many cultures.