Sirius rising

THE SUMMER SKY – Siriusambience: cricketsHere’s a program from our archives.If you happen to look up into the sky before sunrise on a late summer morning, you may notice one star which is brighter than all the rest. Well that star is called Sirius, the Dog Star, and for thousand of years, it’s morning appearance has heralded some important seasonal events. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.To the ancient Greeks, Sirius was one of Orion’s hunting dogs, and the star Sirius is located just east of the constellation Orion. Rao: So it’s a very, very brilliant object and obviously an object that has attracted a great deal of attention to many ancient cultures.Joe Rao is a lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York.Rao: When the ancient Egyptians, 3000 BC, used to watch the sky carefully, in the hours just before dawn, they would see Sirius in mid-June, poke up, just above the southeastern horizon as the sky was brightening. And they used it as a benchmark for the time of knowing when the flooding of the Nile River was going to occur.To the ancient Egyptians, the annual flooding of the Nile made all the difference between feast and famine. So significant was the Dog Star that an entire Egyptian calendar was designed around its appearance. Today the Dog Star has left its legacy in our own weather folklore. Rao: During July and August, especially when it’s exceedingly hot, you might hear somebody say ‘oh boy this is really some dog day, isn’t it!’ During July and through the first part of August, Sirius, the brightest star of night, is in the same part of the sky as the brightest star of the day, our own sun. And so the story goes that the combined light of those two objects, loaned it self to making the months of July and August so very very hot.We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Sirius rising

For ancient Egyptians, the appearance of the constellation Sirius in the dawn sky marked the beginning of an important annual event.
Air Date:06/30/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

THE SUMMER SKY - Siriusambience: cricketsHere's a program from our archives.If you happen to look up into the sky before sunrise on a late summer morning, you may notice one star which is brighter than all the rest. Well that star is called Sirius, the Dog Star, and for thousand of years, it's morning appearance has heralded some important seasonal events. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.To the ancient Greeks, Sirius was one of Orion's hunting dogs, and the star Sirius is located just east of the constellation Orion. Rao: So it's a very, very brilliant object and obviously an object that has attracted a great deal of attention to many ancient cultures.Joe Rao is a lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York.Rao: When the ancient Egyptians, 3000 BC, used to watch the sky carefully, in the hours just before dawn, they would see Sirius in mid-June, poke up, just above the southeastern horizon as the sky was brightening. And they used it as a benchmark for the time of knowing when the flooding of the Nile River was going to occur.To the ancient Egyptians, the annual flooding of the Nile made all the difference between feast and famine. So significant was the Dog Star that an entire Egyptian calendar was designed around its appearance. Today the Dog Star has left its legacy in our own weather folklore. Rao: During July and August, especially when it's exceedingly hot, you might hear somebody say 'oh boy this is really some dog day, isn't it!' During July and through the first part of August, Sirius, the brightest star of night, is in the same part of the sky as the brightest star of the day, our own sun. And so the story goes that the combined light of those two objects, loaned it self to making the months of July and August so very very hot.We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.