Monday, May 3, 2010

Arcturus- Hokule'a, Star of Joy

Arcturus Hokule'a

Job 38: 31 & 32
"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in its season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with its sons"?
110 times more luminous than the Sun, but this underestimates its strength as much of the "light" it gives off is in the infrared; total power output is about 180 times that of the Sun.

The name of the star derives from ancient Greek Αρκτοῦρος (Arktouros) and means "Bear Guard." This is a reference to it being the brightest star in the constellation Boötes (of which it forms the left foot), which is next to the Big and Little Bears, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Prehistoric Polynesian navigators knew Arcturus as Hokule'a, the "Star of Joy." Arcturus is the Zenith Star of the Hawaiian Islands. Using Hokule'a and other stars, the Polynesians launched their double-hulled canoes from Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Traveling east and north they eventually crossed the equator and reached the latitude where Arcturus would appear directly overhead in the summer night sky. Knowing they had arrived at the exact latitude of the island chain, they sailed due west on the trade winds until making landfall. If Hokule'a could be kept directly overhead, they landed on the southeastern shores of the Big Island of Hawaii.

The original inhabitants of Hawaii are believed to have come from the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific about A.D. 250-450. Later migrations probably came from Tahiti. It is believed that the Tahitians had the skills to make the journey in both directions.

The skills of navigation and the personal self-confidence that allowed these people to sail in relatively small deep-sea voyaging canoes over this huge distance are inspiring

The photos you see below were taken when I visited
the Imiloa Astronomy Center on the Big Island
The historic voyages have been re-created by a canoe called the Hokulea, and what you looking at is a star compass with a brief explanation for the names-

Here is an excerpt- (you can click the link below for further reading if you like)
The Building of Hōkūleʻa: .

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (measured from its base at the ocean floor).

The island houses the world's biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world


Mumsy said...

Excellent information! I am learning new things today..

Thanks for the words of comfort on my post!

doro said...

Very interesting post!!!! I love it! My second hobby is an astronomy ;D

Ginny said...

Of course I didn't know any of this, it's interesting. I love learning new things like this. At first when you said they came over in canoes, I thought "No way!". But now seeing your photo, i guess this is a voyaging canoe, not like what we imagine when we think of that word. Nevertheless, it's still so small and frail looking for the trip! The info about the tallest mountain is amazing!

Joyful said...

Wouldn't it be great to be able to look through the lens of THAT telescope, lol. Cool.

Kilauea Poetry said...

Oh cool Doro..thanks!
Greetings Musmsy..I'm glad..and for you stopping by too!
Ginny, much I have to learn.
Hi Joyful..ya, I saw Saturn in the freezing cold up at the top once, but they are the smaller telescopes for public star gazing..

Leenie said...

Fun new info. I guessed it was called Arcturus because it follows the arc of the sky off the tail of the big dipper. Now I know better.

I have been to the top of Haleakela to see the sunrise. It is amazing to stand on top of the highest mountains in the world (measured from their base). How the early people navigated the Pacific is just BOGGELING. And--I have that quote by Job underlined as one of my favorite scriptures.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Thanks for the astronomy--and history--lesson, Regina! I find both fascinating! Love that photo comparing Arcturus to the sun. It kind of puts everything in a different perspective, doesn't it?

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hey there Leenie..terrific! Thanks for sharing this..for some reason that star just fascinated me..and it just sort of unfolded to me when I looked into it. The verse brings a special significance too ya..thanks for your imput today!
Hi Lisa..did it seem like one (lol) I'm glad you enjoyed it! It does huh, amazing stuff..

Anya said...

So informative!!
So interesting!!
So lovely written ....
Astronomy is really cool "I love it"
I have some school class today

Denise said...

Wonderful post Regina, I love learning this kind of information and I did not know that about Mauna Kea. Thank you my friend for expanding my brain box today :)

Sandra said...

since i am afraid of water, I don't do boats, and certainly not canoes, this is a little chilling to me, but very informative. i like the Star of Joy a lot. the photos are great as always. lots of good info in this one.

Kilauea Poetry said...

Oh nice Anya..glad you liked thi! Enjoy your classes! Hi Denise, good you saw something new here! Mine could use more expanding,(lol) Its an added benefit when doing a little research- thanks for the visit!
Hi sandra, I never thought about that..but I've never had a problem with the water? Anyway..we took our dog on her first Kayaking adventure..but she wanted to go for a swim? So she flipped us over! To bad I didn't have one of those underwater cameras!

Amin said...

Wonderful post.

maiaT said...

Interesting post Regina, I've enjoyed reading all of it. I should like to see the stars through that big telescope too.
I always thought that the Mont Everest is the tallest mountain and I was wrong.
Nice pictures too.

Kilauea Poetry said...

Thank you Amin and Maia..(I actually shortened this but it's still a bit long) hmm? oh boy..well, there are those links.

Regina said...

Love to be there in your Astronomy Center or Observatory.
When I was a kid I love watching stars but now a days the pollution has blocked the clear skies.

Great post and photos my friend. Thanks for sharing.

Kilauea Poetry said...

The 3D effects are sort of new and maybe the best part of it. Wish you could too! My best-

Let's be perfectly clear- the war on free speech is spiritual!