the Suhail star

There is an article in the paper today that has made me very hopeful indeed. The sighting of a bright light in the night sky just before sunrise at this time of year traditionally signals the end of the summer heat and a return to more moderate weather.

Visible due south in the early hours before sunrise, Suhail, also known as Canopus, is part of the Vela constellation and is the second brightest star in the sky after Sirius. This astral body has always held a great significance to the people of the Middle East, it’s rise marks the start of the farmer’s agricultural calendar or droror, which begins with the star’s sighting and is then measured in 10 or 13 day micro-seasons known as dir. In addition it traditionally marks the start of the hunting season. As hunters had to endure days of travelling through the desert they presumably would have used this signal to know cooler weather was on the way and therefore a good time to head out.


[source: clipartpal]

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