Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer Explained

We're in the midst of a classic "Three H" heat wave at Kiko's House.
That's Hazy, Hot and Humid.
I took a spin on my trail bike about 6 this morning and was drenched in sweat by the time I arrived back at the shack, and while the AC is keeping things comfortable.

Speaking of Dog Days, where did that term come from?
The brightest star in Canis Major is Sirius (top photo), which rises and sets with the sun and during late July in conjunction with the sun.

Ancient folks believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, "dog days" after Sirius, -- or roughly early July to mid-August.
We, of course, know that it is the earth's tilt and not a faraway star that creates summer temperatures, but I for one don’t feel any cooler knowing that.

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