Planisphere to Print Out
The newly created folder AKskymap in our LexiLine FILES (click the menu left)
will be used for skymaps helping to explain the FILES at
which explain the world megaliths definitively as astronomy.
(I pick the beginning "AK" in akskymap.tif so that this folder appears first in our automatically alphabeticized list of FILES for old or new members or guests).
Uploaded to this file for important orientation is now:
showing the stars of the heavens, celestial equator, ecliptic and equinox line for ca. 3000 BC (at 30 degrees North) for you to print out at home in color. Details further below.
Many LexiLine Newsletters can only be understood if one has a good historical planisphere or software program at hand, which not everyone has right offhand.
The best software program available at an affordable price is Starry
Night Pro, see http://www.starrynight.com or also Starry Night Backyard, which costs less, with fewer features. I use this program regularly. I am in no way affiliated with this company.
Less expensive but just as useful is Milton D. Heifetz's Historical Planisphere with Precession of the Equinoxes which I use regularly. The Heifetz Planisphere is available from Learning Technologies, inc., 40 Cameron Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02144 USA, internet at http://www.starlab.com, e-mail at email@example.com, phone at 800-537-8703, 617-628-1459, and fax 617-628-8606. I am in no way affiliated with this company.
akskymap.tif is a file I have drawn, in color but only as an approximation of the Heifetz Planisphere, and I recommend you do get the original. However, my drawing - the file is 50 kB compressed and nearly 650 kB uncompressed, so give it some time to load and print - gives you the major stars and constellations of the heavens in their positions with respect to the celestial equator, ecliptic and equinoxes in 3000 BC.
The center of heaven (for us in the Northern Hemisphere) - the North Ecliptic Pole - is the small red-circumferenced green circle in the middle of the drawing. The correspondingly colored large green circle around it is the ECLIPTIC - we could also call this the "path of the Sun" (and also of the planets and Moon, thought they do diverge from it a bit in their movement). The ECLIPTIC is fixed and DOES NOT CHANGE.
What has given the ancients over the millennia a great deal of trouble is the CELESTIAL EQUATOR which is marked on akskymap.tif as a large orange circle with a red-circumferenced orange circle in its middle. THIS CIRCLE DOES appear to move its position for an observer on Earth, because the Planet Earth wobbles like a spinning top and its AXIS revolves around the red-dotted-line circle in the drawing ONCE every 25920 years - which astronomers call precession.
As the red-circumferenced orange circle in the middle of the drawing rotates counter-clockwise in 25920 years, it marks what we call the Northern Pole Star, which is currently ca. Polaris - marked as a red-circumferenced yellow circle on the red-dotted-line. In 3000 BC, however, the position of the Northern Pole Star was at the red-circumferenced orange circle in the middle. The pole star is always at the middle of the orange circle marking the celestial equator, so that this orange circle "moves" as the pole star moves. Hence, the points at which the celestial equator and ecliptic intersect - these points mark the Equinoxes - also move, and the solstices also move correspondingly.
I have drawn the Line of the Equinoxes 3000 BC as well as the Line of the Equinoxes 2002 AD on that drawing. Anyone can see how precession affects the seasons. In 3000 BC the Spring Equinox was just to the right of Orion. In our modern age the Spring Equinox is approaching Aquarius (counter-clockwise). This is what the song in the
musical "Hair" some 30 years ago was proclaiming as "the Dawn of the Age of Aquarius". Mankind, however, still has some time to wait before this happens.
Mainstream historians of astronomy today allege that the ancients were not familiar with precession - and this only shows that our modern historians of astronomy know next to nothing about the ancient skywatchers. On the pages of LexiLine we have been and will continue to produce evidence that the ancients have been quite familiar with
this phenomenon for thousands and thousands of years and that the ancient Norse belief that "the sky was falling" is based on this knowledge. Indeed, the need to account for precession (i.e. to correctly predict the seasons and establish a workable calendar) clearly was one major factor which led to the serious study of
astronomy by the ancients and to the megalithic sites which we study today.
The line of the Equinoxes ca. 3000 BC shows why the ancients of that period, for example, as I have already posted to LexiLine, regarded the otherwise insignificant constellation of Serpens Caput to be so important. It was directly on the Equinox Line. Today, we pay little attention to this constellation.
Make sure you also always look at the Milky Way in your astronomical analysis, for the ancients paid far more attention to the Milky Way than we do today in our artificially lighted planet, whose man-made lights and pollution are increasingly blotting out our heavens. The horn of the Milky Way at Cepheus can clearly be seen and only when one actually sees this position can one understand the megaliths of
e.g. Scotland which mark this constellation.
As a special treat, I have also tried in my drawing to make the major stars of the heavens have the color in which they appear, even to the unaided eye, and which the ancients noted carefully, in part using megaliths of a comparable color to mark a given star, as the case of the "Red Goddess" (die Rote Göttin) in Traben-Trarbach (Mont Royal) which is a red-orange colored stone used to mark Dubhe, the only
large red-orange-yellow star in Ursa Major. [Update 2006 - actually, we changed this identification, as this megalith most likely marked the reddish-orange star gamma in Leo - see montroyal1.gif.] Especially the reddish or orange stars were given excessive attention by the skywatchers of old. Perhaps they regarded these stars to be particularly powerful. This surely was so for two of the major "red" stars of the heavens, Antares and Aldebaran, which are more or less directly across from each other near the line of the Equinoxes in ca. 3000 BC.
Once one gets the feel for the heavens in this perspective, the astronomy of the ancients becomes more understandable. I thus recommend you to print this drawing out for further use, but also to get the software and the planisphere listed above. It is OUR world, and we have no other, so we ought to know the basics about this one, both past and present.