Mirror to the past

16. October 2020

Southern cross from the Central Europe

The sky is definitely never the same. Our planet performs a variety of movements. We all know, the Earth’s rotating around its own axis. Throughout the year the Earth is also orbiting our nearest star – our “living star” – the Sun. But these two movements are definitely not all. There are also others, but their influence we wouldn’t realize during our lifetimes. Speech is about precession and nutation. Precession is caused generally by the influence of the Sun, Moon, and other planets. Although the Earth’s axis is inclined at the same angle, the direction is changing. One period of precession takes approximately 25.772 years. As an incredible consequence is, that this negligible thing caused the visibility of the Southern Cross (most known southern constellation) from Slovakia, but 8000 years ago. The sky at that time looked truly different. The brightest part of the Milky Way, which is now observed just above the horizon from Slovakia – was almost at the zenith. Some of the southern constellations also appeared. Due to the precession, we would have the summer part of the Galaxy a few months earlier – from November to May.




On the basis of this idea, this image was created. The upper photograph comes from the Dark Sky Reserve Poloniny – Slovakia. The photographer Tomas Slovinsky made this image in Runina village on the 21st of May 2020. The Lower photograph belongs to Petr Horalek, who took this shot on the 10th of April 2019 at the Soneva Fushi (Maldives) – represent the past. Specifically the Year 5964 B.C. The Earth axis didn’t point near the Polaris star, as we are used to nowadays. It direct pointed to the Bootes constellation. We have chosen that year for almost the identical appearance of the night sky, and for the very similar positions of the Jupiter and Saturn. However, the lower photograph didn’t come from that far past, didn’t represent also movements of the stars within constellations. But it confidentially represents the view that could found by our ancestors living in Central Europe.

More about the mosaic can be found here:

Mirror to the Past

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