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Pleiades - Importance to early sailing

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,729 ✭✭✭ Smiles35

    Doing a bit of research on Pleiades and I thought here might be the place to ask. The star cluster appears on an bronze age item called 'The Nebra Sky Disc'.

    I want to know how relevant that would have to been to people boating from the Mediterranean as I know it couldn't have been that relevant to people from landlocked central E.U.

    Here is a small part of the Wikipedia entry on Pleiades.

    ''cluster's importance in delimiting the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea: "the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising".[10]''

    What does the meen? Was there atmospheric or sea conditions more favorable to sailing when they started to see Pleiades in the night sky? Or were their better more brighter stars to navigate by at that time of year?


  • I'd hazard a guess that they probably knew from experience the threat of bad weather was a lot less after a certain time of the year/season, that time being when Pleiades began to rise in the sky, meaning it was safe to assume at that time that storm season was over.

  • I suppose it must be been hard for them to explain they couldn't guarantee a specific time of their arrival. 'Heliacal' means the specific stars appear with the sun on the horizon. So people on shore could do all the solar and lunar they liked. ''We sail with that!'' Would have been the end on the conversation.