Dog Days of Summer
In the swamps of southern Louisiana it gets quite hot and humid in the summer – frankly, downright miserable. It’s the dog days of summer, as they say. Ever wonder where that saying came from? I happen to like researching the origins of such sayings, so I found out, interestingly enough, its origin actually to be from Egypt; turn the clock back about four thousand years, to the days of Pharaohs, when the happenings in the sky were just as important has those on the ground. And when one of the brightest stars, Sirius, was also the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Obviously, that translated into Big Dog. As the sky watchers that they were, the Pharaohs knew that Sirius, being the brightest star, was in the sky at the same time as the sun – the constellation and the Big Dog star rose in the east just before the rising of the sun. This lead to their belief that the Big Dog star was contributing to the heat of the day. So the four weeks from mid-July to mid-August came to be known as “The dog days of summer.” The Sirius star no longer rises at that time because everything in the universe is in constant motion. And we now know that other stars add almost zero radiant heat to Earth. But I wonder how many people in Louisiana realize that New Orleans and Northern Egypt are very near the same latitude. The same angle of the sun that bakes Egypt, bakes Louisiana. So sometimes on hot summer nights, maybe turn off the TV or shut down the computer and be an Egyptian; go outside to watch the stars rotate in the sky. After all, in the dog days of summer, nights are much cooler than days .
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