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06/17/2014 – Ephemeris – The constellation Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown

June 17, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 17th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:46 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:56.

High in the south at 11 p.m. can be found a small but easily spotted constellation of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.  It is located just east or left of the kite shaped constellation of Boötes, with its bright star Arcturus at the base.  The Northern Crown is a semicircle of stars, like a tiara, with a brighter star Gemma at the bottom.  Despite the obvious allusion of stars to diamonds and the sound of the star’s name, this is not a gem studded crown.  Gemma means blossom, so Corona Borealis may represent a floral crown.  According to Greek mythology it belonged to Princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete.  She was abandoned by Theseus, whom she helped out of the Labyrinth of the Minotaur.

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

Addendum

Corona Borealis with Boötes

Corona Borealis with Boötes. Created with Stellarium.

For the Anishinabek peoples around the Great Lakes, Corona Borealis is a Sweat Lodge.

06/03/2013 – Ariadne’s crown is our Corona Borealis

June 3, 2013 3 comments

Ephemeris for Monday, June 3rd.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 9:22.   The moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:36 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:58.

Here we go, starting Ephemeris’ 39th trip around the sun with the constellation of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.  In the east at 11 this evening it can be seen as small nearly circular constellation.  It is just below and left of Boötes, the kite shaped constellation off the handle of the Big Dipper.  According to Greek myth the crown was given by the god Dionysus to the princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete.  The crown is more like a tiara with the bright star Gemma also known as Alphecca at the front.  While stars suggest that the crown is diamond studded, the meaning of Gemma, a blossom suggests to me that Corona Borealis is a floral crown.   It is known in many lands as many different things.

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

Addendum

Corona Borealis with Boötes

Corona Borealis with Boötes. Created with Stellarium.

06/07/2012 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Corona Borealis

June 7, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 7th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 9:25.   The moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 12:07 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:57.

High in the southeast at 10:30 p.m. can be found a rather small arc of stars just east of the kite shaped constellation of Boötes with the bright star Arcturus at the bottom.  It’s called Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.  There is a Southern Crown, Corona Australis, just below the Teapot of Sagittarius,  a late summer constellation, which barely rises above the horizon here.  This semi-circle of stars was to the Greeks the crown bestowed to Princess Ariadne daughter of King Minos of Crete after she had helped the Greek Theseus escape from the Labyrinth of the Minotaur.  To the Native Americans around here it was the sweat lodge, and to the Australian Aborigines it was the boomerang whenever it rose over their northern horizon.

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

Addendum

Corona Borealis with Boötes

Corona Borealis with Boötes at 10:30 p.m.  Created with Stellarium.