Naming Stars in Completely different Cultures

While modern astronomers consult with most stars solely by catalog numbers and astronomy coordinates, many people informally name stars utilizing name a star services. In fact, throughout history individuals from varied cultures have used star names of their own choosing: Many civilizations defined their existence by way of mythological tales passed from generation to generation, and often associated these tales with the stars in the night sky. As we’ll see, even a serious automobile company is named after the stars.

To illustrate, let’s start with a constellation (an area of the night sky) trendy astronomers have named after a character from Greek and Roman mythology – “Orion,” the Great Hunter. Orion is one of the most well known and simply-identifiable constellations, and will be seen from just about wherever on Earth: The very best time to view Orion is during the night hours between roughly December and March. Many classical mythology tales are told about Orion and the way he got here to be positioned in the heavens. One such story is that Orion had no fear of any animal and subsequently threatened to exterminate the entire animals of the earth. When Gaia, the goddess of the earth, heard this she became enraged and despatched a scorpion to kunwell Orion. When Orion encountered the scorpion he was unable to kunwell it, and the scorpion stung Orion and sent him falling to the earth, fatally wounded. In honor of this story, Orion was placed within the night time sky as a constellation, as was the scorpion – known because the constellation “Scorpius.”

While twenty first century astronomers seek advice from the constellation “Orion” after a hunter from classical mythology, other cultures have had totally different interpretations of these identical stars. One of many distinguishing options of Orion is a line of three, vibrant stars that type what is called “The Belt of Orion.” The traditional Egyptians thought these three vibrant stars were the resting place of the god Osiris. The Dogon people of West Africa viewed the three stars as the stairway to heaven. These identical three stars have been related with Christmas, considered as representing the Magi – “The Three Wise Men” (The Three Kings) from the Bible. The people of the Marshall Islands seen Orion’s stars as an octopus and a fisherman: The story told was of a fisherman who was attacked by an octopus. The fisherman defended himself by utilizing a stone to stab the head of the octopus. Although the octopus was wounded he was able to spray his ink, behind which he hid and was able to escape. The Chimu Indians of Peru believed that the middle star of Orion’s belt represented a thief or mischief maker that the Moon Goddess punished. The Moon Goddess punished the wrongdoer by sending stars to seize him and send him to 4 vultures that will eat him. This mythological story served as a warning for many who would commit crimes.

Another attention-grabbing instance from classical mythology is related to a wonderful group of stars within the constellation Taurus called “The Pleiades,” or “The Seven Sisters.” These stars are seen within the evening sky from roughly November via April, and are sometimes confused with “The Little Dipper” (which is in another constellation) as the bright stars of the Pleiades together resemble a really small dipper, or ladle. The story from classical mythology is that Orion, the hunter, grew to become enamored of those seven stunning ladies, and relentlessly pursued them all through the world. Taking pity on the younger girls, Zeus positioned them within the heavens the place Orion continues to pursue them within the evening sky.

Many cultures have additionally associated the Pleiades with females or femininity. The Australian Aborigines saw this group of stars as a cluster of girls who had been musicians. These girls play their instruments for a gaggle of younger boys who are represented by the stars seen in Orion’s belt. Some Native American tribes seen the Pleiades as seven mothers who had been looking for their seven lost sons: In accordance with the Chumash Indians of California, these seven sons had turn out to be the celebrities of the Big Dipper. The Kiowa Indians noticed these stars as young girls who were placed within the heavens by the Great Spirit in order to save lots of them from attacking bears. In Norse mythology, they were the hens of Freya, the goddess of love, magnificence and fertility. In Japan the Pleiades have been known as “Subaru,” after which a Japanese automotive firm is named.

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