The Big 5 of the African Sky are five celestial objects that represent the best specimens of each type of deep-sky class: theSouthern Pleaides(an open star cluster),omega Centauri (a globular cluster),the eta Carinae Nebula (a bright nebula),the Coal Sack (a dark nebula),and the Milky Way (a galaxy).
What is African constellations doing now?
African Constellations now also produces dollies and cards to be used for Systems Constellations in individual therapy. The dollies are our first women’s economic empowerment initiative in South Africa. We support mothers to learn doll-making as a source of income for their families, and help to market and distribute the dollies worldwide.
What is the Horn Star called in South Africa?
This star is called Senakane (Sotho, Tswana) and Tshinanga (Venda), meaning “The Little Horn”. Brighter still than Achernar is Canopus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It is widely known in southern Africa as Naka, “The Horn Star”. In Sotho tradition, a careful watch was kept for Naka about the end of May.
What are the oldest constellations?
One of the oldest constellations, Ursa Major, the big bear, is widely known across many cultures and mythologies. In Greek mythology, Zeus falls in love with the nymph, Callisto.
What Constellation has a snake as its name?
Serpens represents the snake, held by Asclepius, the great Greek healer, depicted in the constellation Ophiuchus. Another constellation named by Polish astronomer, Hevelius. It is named after the astronomical sextant used to measure star positions. Taurus, the bull, is another ancient constellation dating back to Ptolemy in the 2nd century.
What did the Xam Bushmen believe?
While the /Xam Bushmen believed the stars were formerly people, some !Kung Bushmen taught that stars are, in fact, small creatures, and look like tiny porcupines – they have little legs, ears, teeth and are covered with tiny spines.
What is the most obvious feature in the night sky?
The Moon. The Moon – iNyanga to the Xhosa and Zulu, Nwedzi to the Shona and Venda, and Ngwedi to the Sotho and Tswana – is probably the most obvious feature in the night sky, because of its size, brightness, and changing appearance (phases). As the Moon orbits the Earth it goes through a sequence of phases, from New Moon (invisible) to crescent, …
Why do kung bushes think the sun is dead?
The Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen think of the Sun as a “death thing” because of its searing heat and the association with thirst, hunger, and exhaustion. The /Xam Bushmen would ask the Sun, early in the morning before they set out to hunt, to steady the hunter’s arm when aiming at game.
Why did the first Bushmen throw his head up into the sky?
So one day, out of desperation, the First Bushmen chopped off his head and threw it up into the sky so that his light could be shared with everyone. On rare occasions, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, resulting in a solar eclipse. If the alignment is exact, then the entire Sun is momentarily blacked out.
How did the Milky Way come to be?
In /Xam Bushmen star lore, the Milky Way was created by a girl of the ancient race who scooped up a handful of ashes from the fire and flung it into the sky. This made a glowing path along which people could see the route to return home at night. She also threw bits of an edible root into the sky, the old (red) pieces creating red stars and the young (white) pieces creating white stars.
What is the sky made of?
A wide-spread African concept is that the sky is a solid dome, perhaps made of blue rock, resting on the Earth, upon which the Sun moves. The traditional Tswana idea is that stars are holes in the rocky vault that is the sky.
Why was the moon placed in water?
In the old times, it was said, the Moon was one of the leather sandals of the Mantis-god /kaggen. The sandal was placed in water to soften it somewhat, but this angered the water spirit who then froze the water, locking the sandal in ice.
What are the Big 5?
The Big 5 of the African Sky are five celestial objects that represent the best specimens of each type of deep-sky class: the Southern Pleaides (an open star cluster), omega Centauri (a globular cluster), the eta Carinae Nebula (a bright nebula), the Coal Sack (a dark nebula), and the Milky Way (a galaxy).
When can I see the Big 5?
All five objects will not be visible at the same time. This is mainly because the Milky Way is a large object and it will take more than one session to see it at its full extent. There are a number of tools you can use to find out when a particular region of sky is visible. You could, for example, use the Southern Star Wheel planisphere, a free DIY download. Your favourite planetarium program (e.g. “Stellarium”) or app (e.g. “Google Sky Map”, “Sky Safari”) are also great options. The following table gives a general indication of when the Big 5 can be seen.
How do I report my observations?
Collect your observations of each object, add your observing journal entries (and sketches if you made them) and submit them to the ASSA Deep-Sky Section. The easiest way is to send an e-mail to the Section Director, Auke Slotegraaf. A great idea is to share your observations with other observers: you can post your notes on the Big 5 Facebook Group and on the ASSA Deep-Sky Section YahooGroup mailing list.
What happens after I submit my observations?
All reports will receive feedback from the ASSA Deep-Sky Section. If you’ve successfully observed the Big 5, your name will be listed on the ASSA website Big 5 Honour Roll. You will also be issued with a virtual sticker – a graphic that is created uniquely for you, officially hosted on the ASSA website, that you can link to and embed in online media. In addition, extracts of your descriptions and journal will be published on the ASSA Deep-Sky Section webpages for other observers to read and enjoy.
What are the brightest parts of the Milky Way?
The brightest parts of the Milky Way are in Sagittarius, Scutum, Norma and Carina. The accompanying table gives their celestial coordinates and basic data. Two star maps illustrate their general location, with one map devoted specifically to the Milky Way.
What is the Southern Sky?
The magnificent southern sky is a starry realm richly sown with a treasury of deep-sky objects: star clusters, bright and dark gas clouds, and galaxies.
Which star cluster is the most representative of open star clusters?
The representative of open star clusters is the Southern Pleiades. First amongst the globular star clusters is the overwhelming omega Centauri. Bright nebulae are represented by the majestic eta Carinae Nebula. The mysterious dark nebulae are represented by the Coal Sack. And the most splendid galaxy of them all is our own Milky Way Galaxy.
How did Africans use celestial knowledge?
Africans used celestial knowledge to chart seasons and to regulate agricultural cycles and ritual calendars . Celestial bodies were used to coordinate both work and social activities; they played and continue to play roles in divination, spatial design, and decision-making.
What can we learn from cultural astronomy?
Like Chinua Achebe’s character Ezeulu, we could learn much by turning our gaze to the moon and heavens. In the opening of Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece, Arrow of God, the protagonist, an Igbo chief priest named Ezeulu, …
Is Africa a monolithic country?
Africa is not , of course, a monolithic entity and the moon embodies polyvalent meanings. Hanging like a lamp in its bright fullness, it illuminates an evening’s entertainment. Obscuring in its absence, it covers intrigues and machinations.
How many star constellations will be there in 2021?
88 Officially Recognized Star Constellations. July 25, 2021. July 22, 2021. These are all 88 officially recognized star constellations, their names, meanings, and pictures. Have you ever looked up at the sky and wondered which constellation you might see?
What is the crab that distracts Heracles?
Cancer was a crab sent to distract Heracles while battling an ancient hydra or snake.
What is the name of the lizard that changed colors?
Simply put, named after the color-changing lizard, the chameleon, by Dutch explorers in the 1500s.
What dog follows Orion?
Similarly, Canis Minor, the small dog, also follows Orion while hunting the rabbit.
What is the Aries ram?
Aries was a legendary ram, yielding wings and golden fleece.
Why is the triangulum a triangle?
Another oldie from Ptolemy in the 2nd century, Triangulum, simply depicts a triangle because of its geometric visual shape.
What was the altar in which Greek gods formed a pact before battling the Titans?
Ara was the altar in which Greek gods formed a pact before battling the Titans.
What is the technique used in African astrology?
Geomancy. The primary technique used in African astrology is Geomancy , where three bones are randomly tossed on a flat surface. The resulting lines and arrows formed are organized into three levels. The base level is formed by a bone in a vertical line.
What are the qualities of a staunch person?
They are staunch in their own opinions, perspectives and knowledge regarding life, and are resentful towards anything that deviates from their premise. Blessed with quick-intellect and good intuition- these skills prove helpful in many aspects of life.
Why do people handle crisis situations well?
They handle crisis situations well, which brings out their dependability, creativity and strength. But when it comes to making tough and critical decisions, they may get confused and try to put off deciding until it’s absolutely necessary.
What is the Baobob tree?
People born under the sign of the deeply respected Baobob Tree, are honest, show thoughtfulness and are liberal-minded. They have a practical approach and thorough knowledge of business, which combined with their opportunistic approach ensures success in most of their endeavors.
Why are family people called consultants?
Because of their innate wisdom and focus on the greater good, they are often called upon as a consultant, to mediate and give advise. The ‘Family’ people are bound to achieve at least one remarkable act before their life ends, which can be a part of a job or their daily life.
Why do two AAS need to enrich themselves?
But TWOAAS must enrich themselves from inside in order to prevent a life that’s exciting but empty.
Which is the most accurate astrological guide?
African Astrology: The Most Primitive And Accurate Astrological Guide. On of the most primitive forms of astrology, African Astrology, originated in ancient African civilizations and is based on Geomancy. It is regarded as one of the most accurate forms of astrological guides. The primitive societies of Africa were one of the first groups …
How many alignments did the 19 stone pillars make?
So what about the 19 stone pillars that make up Namourantunga–are they indeed used for the ancient Borana calendar? We found that they made 25 alignments with the seven positions on the sky of the ancient Borana stars or star systems. After some calculations, we found that this many alignments could only have occurred randomly about 43 times out of 10,000 random star positions (counting the alignments with the pillars generated randomly by computer, and doing this test of randomly made-up star position 10,000 times for good measure). In other words, we found also that the pillars at Namoratunga–to have made as many as 25 or more alignments with the seven specific ancient positions of the Borana stars– would only occur randomly 0.43% of the time. From this mathematical experiment we could be about 99.57% sure that the pillars at Namouratuna had been build to do just that–line up with the Borana calendar star positions for 300 B.C.! And the petroglyphs on the pillars? The Turkana said they were ancient family names. This was interesting too, because a lot of them match the symbols on the pyramids of the ancient Kush people–symbols said to be royal property symbols. Perhaps the Kush also got as far south as they did north in ancient times. And perhaps petroglyphs might be a way (besides linguistics and genetics) to trace the migrations of ancient peoples.
What did the Turkana say about family names?
The Turkana said they were ancient family names. This was interesting too, because a lot of them match the symbols on the pyramids of the ancient Kush people–symbols said to be royal property symbols. Perhaps the Kush also got as far south as they did north in ancient times.
How many days are there in the Borana calendar?
There are no weeks in the Borana calendar (our 7-day week only comes from the seven ancient planets that appeared to circle the Earth–Sun, Saturn, Moon, then in English a switch to Norse gods–Oden, Thor, and so on). The Borana have 27 day names, and 12 (lunar) month names.
What are the seven special stars in the Borana calendar?
The Borana calendar stars are: beta Triangulum, Pleiades, Aldebaran, Bellatrix, central Orion and the star Saiph taken together, and Sirius.
What are the pillars of the pyramids called?
The pillars were known as "Namoratunga" or "stone people" in the Turkana language. They had been said to have been built for an astronomical purpose, to reckon the Borana calendar, and were reputed to be a couple of thousand years old. They had petroglyphs on them, some matching the ancient property symbols of the Kush, a people of the Sudan who had once conquered Egypt (in the 8th Century B.C.) and whose language has yet to be deciphered. From maps of ancient Kush, I knew that the front of almost all their pyramids appeared to face the star Sirius, which has not changed its position in the sky very much for the last several thousand years.
What was the purpose of the navigational sextants in the Turkana Desert?
We used navigational sextants to measure the angles between each pillar from the others, and a measuring strip to map the interdistances between them. The day was blessedly cloudy–the first such day in the Turkana desert we had seen.
How many days after the first month does the next moon start?
This occurs 29.5 days after the start of the first month. That means that one runs out of day names a couple of days early.
What is the king of the jungle?
The lion, which is the king of the jungle,…purely African! I simply loved it. The sky is interpreted in African terms: giraffes, lions, and zebras are seen among the stars where other people see bears and horses.
Who are the Bushmen of Namibia?
The Bushmen of Namibia are the oldest people in Africa, as well as in the world. They have lived in the Southern area of Africa for the past 20,000 years, and their celestial stories are just as old. In the documentary, I love the way their celestial stories, and their story of creation was centered around the lion. Isn’t it interesting? The lion, which is the king of the jungle,…purely African! I simply loved it. The sky is interpreted in African terms: giraffes, lions, and zebras are seen among the stars where other people see bears and horses. From the documentary, one sees that the Namib (Bushmen or San) healers welcome the bright evening star, the planet Venus, with a special dance…. The elders observe the shadows cast by the Sun and still count the days by the phases of the Moon, orient themselves, decide when to hunt, harvest, etc… with the sky . They call the Milky Way the Spine of the Night and observe its three different positions during the night: it tells them about time and the changing seasons. Read more about the Khoisan people of Botswana and their fight for survival amidst government/Corporation’s menace.
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Why did the bushmen see the clouds?
The bushmen saw the clouds as a pair of celestial steenboks, perhaps due to their diffuse nature rendering them hard to see under less than perfect conditions, in the same way that the diminutive steenbok prefers to remain hidden. Others saw the testicles of a great lion!
What do the stars of Crux represent?
The most common interpretation in southern Africa is that the four brightest stars of Crux are a herd, or ‘journey’, of female giraffe and the two Pointer Stars (Alpha and Beta Centauri) represent a pair of giraffe bulls in hot pursuit. Another version of the story sees the cross as symbolising the head of a giant giraffe (due to the diamond shape), with the Pointers as its neck. Some Bushmen tribes believed that the stars of the cross are a pride of lionesses, along with their young cub (Epsilon Crucis) and the Pointers embodying their two pride males following close behind as they prowl towards the horizon.
What are the two galaxies of the Milky Way?
When looking directly south on a clear night, two imperfections stand out against the clarity of the darkness. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are sister galaxies of the Milky Way, locked in a gravitational war with us, and each other. They are named after the great Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who documented the ever-present clouds during his circumnavigation of the globe in the early 1500s.
How did people start to understand the cyclical nature of the heavens?
People quickly began to notice the cyclical nature of the heavens, and with that came the concept of time. Of course, modern-day timekeeping was a long way off. Still, by recognising the positions of various celestial phenomena, it soon became apparent that recurring weather conditions and temperatures could be predicted with a reasonable amount of accuracy. This knowledge could then be used to anticipate vital information on animal movements based on rainfall, as well as fruiting times of the local flora. By the age of the pastoralists, this knowledge would prove invaluable for farming activities.
Why is the moon associated with reincarnation?
Due to the repetitive phases of the Moon and its seemingly regular regeneration, much African folklore found it synonymous with reincarnation and recovery. This belief was honoured by the Bushmen during their hunting trips, trusting that if one looked at the Moon after shooting their quarry with a poison arrow, it would allow the prey to recover and escape.
What is a guest blogger?
In the Guest Blogger profile, you’ll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!
How long does it take for the Moon to go through its full cycle?
As it takes approximately 29 days for the Moon to go through a full cycle and return to the same phase, these phases have also been used for millennia to mark the passage of time. The ‘Ishango Bone’, found in the former Belgian Congo, is a baboon fibula decorated with various etchings that indicate its use as an ancient lunar calendar. Scientists estimate that it is over 35,000 years old!