Orion is not considered a constellation of the Zodiac. But there is a curious and noteworthy fact pertaining to the journey of the moon and planets along the ecliptic (that imaginary line or hoop through the zodiac constellations upon which the sun and planets seem to wander). As it crosses from Taurus, the bull, into Gemini, the twins, the moon for a period of just one night (and maybe only part of the night, depending on where you are located) appears to be carried across the sky by the great hunter constellation, Orion.
What did equinox mean to a Neolithic astronomer? We define it as a time of equal day and night, but they could not have calculated this without modern clocks. The equinox is often not halfway between the solstices either. So why are sites from the Stone Age apparently aligned to equinox sunrises?
The recent fluctuation and fading in the brightness of the star Betelgeuse in Orion prompted me to have a look at ancient Irish myths which might pertain to this constellation and its bright red star.
Anthony Murphy shares his photos of the "super blood wolf moon" - the total lunar eclipse - taken at various locations in the Boyne Valley including Drogheda, Dowth and Newgrange.
The Milky Way galaxy and Venus over Síd in Broga (Newgrange passage-mound) at Brú na Bóinne. The Milky Way had many names in Irish myth and tradition. One of the traditions is that two trees grew out of the graves of two lovers who had been buried either side of a lake, and that the branches of the two trees connected in the sky over the lake.
This is kerb stone 78 at Knowth, located not far from the entrance to the western passage. It is one of 127 kerb stones at Knowth, of which 90 have megalithic art. But what do these symbols represent, if anything? Are they merely art for art’s sake?
The longest days of the year have arrived. The sun's rising and setting positions have reached their most northerly points along the horizon and these rising points are now "standing still" - hence the word solstice, or in Irish grianstad, meaning, literally, "stopped sun".
The first evening of the new year was a glorious one at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley. The first sunset of 2017 was magnificent, followed by a descent into twilight that featured rich hues and colours, and then the crescent moon next to Venus, the Evening Star, made it a really gorgeous close to the day. In a couple of the shots, you might also catch a glimpse of Mars, which was trailing the Moon and Venus. I was lucky to be able to spend time there putting together this very special time lapse video. It might have been cold, but it was lovely.