Friday, September 25, 2015

Carpe Diem #826 Pyxis (Mariner's compass)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

On our space odyssey we have encountered several known an unknown constellations and today we have another "unknown" constellation, Pyxis (Mariner's compass). I haven't heard from this constellation and I think most of you also will not know this constellation. So it will not be easy to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on this constellation. Maybe the description can help us. Let us take a closer look at this "unknown" constellation.

Credits: Pyxis (Mariner's compass)
And here is the story behind this constellation:

The constellation Pyxis was created by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751-52 during his exploration of the southern skies. He named the constellation la Boussole and later Latinized the name to Pixis Nautica. The constellation appeared under this name in the second edition of Lacaille’s chart in 1763. The name was eventually shortened to Pyxis.

The constellation represents the magnetic compass used by navigators and seamen and should not be confused with Circinus, which was named after a draftsman’s compasses. Pyxis lies in the vicinity of the three constellations that were once known as Argo Navis, a single large constellation that represented the ship of the Argonauts. Lacaille was the one who divided the constellation into three smaller ones – Carina, Puppis and Vela – and this might be the reason why Pyxis is sometimes mentioned as the fourth constellation that was part of Argo Navis, even though it wasn’t. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy had catalogued the stars from Alpha to Delta Pyxidis, but not as part of Argo Navis, but as stars located on or around the ship’s mast.

look at the stars
while on the way to fulfillment
pyxis leads

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Phoenix, later on.

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