Winter Constellations and Zodiacal light

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    When the ancients gazed upon the celestial dome they noted the stars seemed to form patterns. These patterns were made by connecting the brighter stars with imaginary lines and stories were made and names given that reflected the local stories, myths and religious practices. Each age has seen what it wanted to see.

    For thousands of years this was the the calendar that marked the seasons. The Sun and the Moon were like the hour and minute hand. Officially there are 88 recognized constellations, 48 of which were named by the Ancients. Although the names of these constellations are derived from Greco-Roman heritage, these are based upon Greek reinterpretations of the Babylonian, Sumerian and Egyptian patterns. Of great significance, Arabic astronomy flourished while European science was eclipsed for over a millennium. We still use the Arabic names for many of the brightest stars.

    Who gave the stars their names is not critically important as the fact that all human cultures have looked to the sky for meaning, for portents, for solace.

    Esther17, fotograf.416, and 148 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Esther17 96 months ago | reply

      amazing and beautiful, phil...

    2. relatively_mike 96 months ago | reply

      Nicely done! Do you rotate the camera to avoid star trails?

    3. Computer Science Geek 96 months ago | reply

      Thanks all.

      @relatively mike: with a wide angle lens such as a fisheye with it's very short focal length I can probably do a 4-5 minute exposure before star trails are noticable. This was done on a fixed tripod for 1 min. Also, the lens was not focused at infinity so they are actually a bit blurry, and hence the large discs.

    4. pierluigi.ricci 96 months ago | reply

      Yes, there's something blue in your life!

      Please add this photo to the group
      Please tag your photo with "somethingblue-inmylife"

    5. pedro vidigal 87 months ago | reply

      Hi there!

      My name isPedro Vidigal and I am an admin of a group called Open Source Photography (OSP)

      I love this photo made with open source software. Please consider posting it in:
      Open Source Photography (OSP)

    6. FeeBeeDee 84 months ago | reply

      I really like your prose. Thanks. Oh, and the photo is awesome!

    7. paulwood35 [deleted] 79 months ago | reply


    8. Libeweb 74 months ago | reply


      we've published this photo on the website of the French daily newspaper Liberation, as it's permitted by the Creative Commons contract you've chosen.
      You'll find this picture right here:

      Thanks a lot for your work,

    9. shinos 69 months ago | reply

      i like the description :)

    10. ting s, 66 months ago | reply

      this is so beautiful.

    11. Sunil Sohanta. 60 months ago | reply

      Hello, I'm an admin for a group called We Own the Sky, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    12. Juki7 40 months ago | reply

      Beautiful shot!!! You photo has been added to The Omniscient Eye with proper attribution and link. Thank you for your talent:)

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