Egyptian Astronomy

The subject of Egyptian astronomy is, like every other aspect in the history of Egypt, extremely fascinating and mind-expanding. This is the culture that created the Great Pyramids. This is also the culture that formed one of the most complex irrigation systems ever. This is the very same culture whose queen once had an entire cosmetics factory build next to the Dead Sea. It is little wonder that Egyptian astronomy is yet another example of a culture that was light years ahead of its time.

The constellation we know as "Orion" has in fact been known as such for thousands of years, back when the Greeks first bestowed the name upon it. In Ancient Greece, Orion was one of their heroes, hovering in the night sky for eternity. The Egyptians saw this same constellation and saw a figure as well. In Egyptian astronomy, this was one of their gods, "Osiris". This was their god of the afterlife.

In Egyptian astronomy, the sun was in fact more than one god. Depending on its position in the sky, the sun could have been Horas, Re, or Atum. This may be history's earliest documented case of schizophrenia, beating even The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.

What may surprise many people is the fact that, in Egyptian astronomy, there was a twelve-month calendar that comprised a year of 365 days. Does that sound familiar? They used the tide of the Nile to determine a lunar cycle, since the moon is the reason that tides ebb and flow. This is reminiscent of many cultures throughout history, where the twenty-eight day cycle of the moon is a perfect barometer to gauge the passing of time.

The North Star is another star that has factored in the astronomy of nearly every culture. This makes sense, considering it is the brightest star in the sky. It is also always above the North Pole, and for millennia it has been used by both men on both land and sea as a compass. In Egyptian astronomy, the astronomers came to realize that Sirius' pattern in relation to the sun happened to coincide with the annual flooding of the Nile. This led them to make perfect predictions each time and thus manage to avert disaster while simultaneously filling their subjects with awe.

It is little wonder that the astronomy of so many cultures, including ours, all have similarities. After all, we've all been looking at the same stars since civilization began. While our understanding of the stars has improved, our fascination with them will always remain.