caeruleancentaur wrote: >> "Paul Schleitwiler, FCM" <pjschleitwilerfcm@...> wrote: > >> Okay. Good luck. I would suggest contacting an astronomy group, but >> it is a rare request. What do you need it for? > > I'm trying to figure out what figures might have been available in the > past for zodiac signs for my conculture. I guess it really doesn't > matter. There are so many stars that anybody can see anything he wants > in them. The constellations of today only vaguely resemble what they're > named for. I suspect that, at least in some cases, the name was chosen > before the constellation was found. "I'd like to have a lion in the > sky. Let me see if I can find a star formation that looks like a lion!" > > Charlie Many of the bright stars zip across the sky pretty quickly. I've got Starry Night Pro running now, which only goes back to 99998 BC, and there are some pretty drastic changes. Arcturus is in Draco, between Aldhibain (Eta) and Rastaban (Beta), which haven't moved much. Pollux and Procyon are near each other in Cancer, while Sirius has moved into Gemini and Castor is in Lynx. Orion, on the other hand, has changed very little. Many of the bright stars in Scorpius, including Antares, also are close to their current positions. Other bright stars that don't appear to have moved much include Deneb, Canopus, Spica, Polaris, Hadar (Beta Centauri), and Alphard (Alpha Hydri). Going back millions of years, even many of these relatively distant stars will have moved quite a bit, and I don't even know enough to have any idea how accurate are the projections that go back a few thousands of years. Probably the motions of the nearer and faster-moving stars are known more accurately than the more distant ones. But this program doesn't adjust the distance or magnitude of even the nearest stars over time as they move through the sky, so there are bound to be errors the further you get from the present time. Probably many of the stars that would be prominent in the Pleistocene would be dimmer today and vice versa. At one time I had the idea of naming the constellations as they might appear from the Mizarian home world and other nearby stars (such as Procyon, where the Jarda speakers were supposed to live), but I never got very far with that idea.