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It's In The Stars

Updated: Mar 12

It's said that your future is written in the stars. Do you believe in fate and destiny? I love reading about the brave explorers that used the stars to navigate, the significance of how the magical standing stones are aligned, how the ancient civilisations planted by the moon and the stars. The mystical realms of astrology are also fascinating! Here is where to see the night skies and more.

Sky At Night, Madagascar ©MDHarding

It's In The Stars

The stars were said to be first documented by the ancient Babylonian astronomers of Mesopotamia (today's Iraq, Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders) in the late 2nd millennium B.C.

Then in 300 B.C Aristyllus with the help of Timocharis produced the first-star catalogue in Greek Astrology. It has been said that the Greek astronomers lead the way, with the discovery that Earth was a sphere and the surrounding solar system.

The ancient Minoans, who lived on the Mediterranean island of Crete from 3000 to 1100 BCE, left records of using the stars to navigate. They would have known the different constellations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. For example, the most familiar constellation in the Southern Hemisphere is the Southern Cross, and in the Northern Hemisphere is the familiar constellation The Big Dipper.

Ernest Shackelton, one of the great explorers took one of the most dangerous voyages to Antarctica around 1915. On board the Endurance he only had a sextant (which uses the angle between the sun or star and the horizon that would have been constantly bouncing up and down due to strong Antarctic waves) to calculate the latitude.

Did you know Leonardo Da Vinci also had a passion for astronomy, so much so that he explored the possibility and concept of the telescope?

Discover more about Da Vinci the genus.