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The Pleiades - Best Winter Viewing Time is January 8 pm. in Northern Hemisphere

Rocky Montana

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"Astronomers tell us that we are in the middle of an interlocking wheel-within-a-wheel within a cosmic time machine that the Mayans and also Egyptians understood, and just as we go around in relationship to our immediate solar paradigm, our entire galactic system currently is moving around in relationship to the larger configuration of the Pleiades, now known to astronomers as Messier 45 (M45).  This larger wheel is known as the Precession of the Equinoxes, the period of time that it takes the Earth to pass through one complete cycle of the constellations of the zodiac.  It is the earth’s wobble or spinning axis (at an angle) that makes the zodiac appear to move “backward” one sign about every 2200 years, or about one degree every 72 years.  This averages to 12 signs in 26,000 years.  The Pleiades occupies a key role in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during the Equinoxes and Solstices which are established by this Precession.

In the Northern Hemisphere, at the Spring Equinox, the Pleiades rises during the day, and can be seen only briefly at night.  Each day the sun gets a little closer in alignment to the Pleiades so that during the Summer Solstice, the Pleiades rises just before the light of dawn.  The first visible rising of the Pleiades before the sun is called the helical rise of the Pleiades.  During the Fall Equinox, the Pleiades rises at midnight.  At the Winter Solstice, the Pleiades is visible in the east just after dark. 

For northern hemisphere viewers, the cluster is above and to the right of Orion as one faces south -- reaches its highest point in the sky, midway between rising and setting -- around 4 am in September, midnight in November, and 8 pm in January.

R. Montana