Written by John Del Re on November 20, 2018
Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the November Starwatch for the WNTI listening area.
In this season of Thanksgiving, you may not see a turkey constellation in the sky, but you are able to see a turkey foot. This group of stars as seen by some Native Americans is a piece of the constellation we now call Cygnus the Swan, or the Northern Cross. The turkey has been an important food source and symbol in the lives of the American Indians.
The Eastern Woodland Indians have a legend about the turkey whom they call “The Peace Eagle”. They said that greed caused a separation between them and the creator. They became sick by eating the meat of animals. They called upon the Chief who then prayed to the creator and was told to put his heart to Mother Earth. She told him that they should appreciate all in their life, and all has purpose. The Chief then had a vision of a turkey. It said that they could use him as food, as long as they could love and trust and live in respect. Chief went to Clan Mother and said the creator has given us the Turkey Peace Eagle as food to eat. They called it “The Feast of Friendship “, and it was celebrated on the first full Moon of November.
This November, besides the Moon, we can see three visible planets. At dusk, Mars is seen to the south in Aquarius. Below Mars toward the southwest, Saturn is visible in Sagittarius. At dawn, Venus is seen just above the horizon in Virgo. Mercury and Jupiter are not visible. So this month, as we celebrate The Feast of Friendship, let us follow the example of our ancestors by giving thanks to the Creator, and living in love and respect.
Until our next Starwatch …Don’t forget to check out, what’s up in the night sky!