It’s amazing the things that you come across when simply browsing th’internet.
Today, we have a New Moon, which is all well and good. At the time of the New Moon, we don’t get to see the Moon at all; only today we had a spectacular appearance of her. Well, some of us did.
A Solar Eclipse from America to Africa and Southern Europe, total in parts. Living in (or towards) Northern Europe, I don’t think I would have been able to see the eclipse today (Luckily, I saw the one in 1999 so that kind of makes up for things), but it was also raining quite heavily once again, so if I could have seen it I’d have probably missed it anyway.
However, I did get to see a magnificent double rainbow, big, bold and full. The sky beneath the rainbow was bright, and above the arch it was considerably darker. Whether this was an effect of the eclipse, I don’t know, but they happened around the same time of each other. Well, they happened around lunchtime UK time give or take an hour or so.
Obviously, I didn’t come across the eclipse or the rainbow on the internet. Well, the eclipse I did, but that was in a different browsing session.
I was looking for the symbolic meaning of a rainbow and an eclipse: some sites saying it was a good omen, others not as positive. One train of thought led me off in a completely different direction though.
Have you ever heard of KIC 11442793? I hadn’t until earlier. It’s a dwarf star in the Draco constellation. It has made the news recently as it’s been discovered that there are seven planets orbiting it, some smaller than Earth, some the same size and some considerably larger. And the solar system is set out in a similar way to ours, only the planets are considerably closer together. They haven’t discovered life yet, but it’s early days!
The interesting thing (apart from the whole solar system interesting thing!) is that Draco’s alpha star, Alpha Draconis, or Thuban, used to be our Northern Pole Star from just after 4000BC, and the way how things that go around come around, it will once again become the Pole Star in 20,000AD, or thereabouts. Apparently the pyramids in Egypt were built facing north with their entrance passageways aligned so that Thuban would be visible.
Today, Thuban, like my eclipse, is hidden within / behind our urban skies, and Polaris is our current Pole Star. Polaris, by the way was so named in the Seventeenth Century. Its original name was Cynosura – the dog’s tail (even though Polaris is in the Ursa Minor constellation, or Smaller Bear, it was historically represented as a dog).
So, once again I’m pulled back to the Seventeenth Century, this time with a means to navigation. I did mention that I see ships when I think back to the Seventeenth Century, didn’t I?
Like I say, it’s amazing the things you come across when simply browsing th’internet.