Monday, October 30, 2006

Bear country (celestial version)


Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

Job 9:9 (King James Version)

The return of standard time in the United States is the (sub)urban surrogate for the rising of Arcturus, an ancient annual landmark on the march toward winter. The culturally significant trio of Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades will now dominate the winter skies of the Northern Hemisphere.

Arcturus comes from the Greek word -- Αρκτούρος -- meaning "bear guard." It and the constellations Ursa major and Ursa minor explain why we call the far north the Arctic, or modified Greek for "bear country."

Editor's note: You are invited to visit BioLaw for the terrestrial companion to this post.


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