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Hot-humid days of summer or dog days are approaching and some of us already have symptoms. The brightest start in the constellation Canis Major is called Big Dog.  The Canis Major constellation is shaped like a dog and the Big Dog Star is right on the doggy’s neck. Big dog is also known as Sirius in Ancient Greek meaning “scorching.” They believed that Sirius, although only visible in the winter, was accompanying the sun during the day, and gave extra light and warmth to the sun in the summer.  It’s nice to know that the brightest star in the whole sky is named Big Dog. I guess the ancients most have loved dogs. We are not sure when dog days are starting out. August is a good bet. Sirius was a good thin back then. It meant the Nile River was going to flood soon, and that was a good thing for the Egyptians. Agriculture was their main source of income. The Nile River flooding meant lots of water and fertile soil for their crops. The total amount of grain harvested depended on the surface covered by the flooding Nile. The Nile river no longer floods today but we still have Big Dog shining bright in the sky during winter and in the summer when humidity and heat invade us let us think about the “good old days” when Big Dog (Sirius) helped the Egyptians in making their crops grow.

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Comment by Kathi on May 18, 2011 at 11:47am
Very interesting article Angelica.  Some of it I have heard before but not all.  Thanks for posting.

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