Draco is an extended constellation of the northern hemisphere.

Today Polaris is the pole star but 4,000 years ago Thuban (arab. meaning 'the dragon') held this position.› In ancient times the heavens appeared to revolve around this constellation. The great Egyptian pyramids of Khufu, located at Giza, seem to have been planned and built with Thuban as a guide when Thuban was the Pole Star around 3000 B.C.› The pyramid was built in such a way that Thuban was visible day and night from the bottom of one of the pyramid's deep air shafts.› Other pyramids also seem to have been planned and built with the then Pole Star as a focal point.

In ancient Egypt, the stars of modern-day Orion
represented Osiris, god of the dead. Thuban was
the star that marked the celestial north pole.

Khufu's burial chamber was fashioned deep inside the Great Pyramid. Two skinny shafts bore outward from the chamber. For decades, scholars thought they were airshafts. But in the 1960s, astronomers found that they have an astronomical purpose.

At the time the pyramid was built, one of the shafts aimed toward the star that was then closest to the north celestial pole. The other aimed at the belt of Orion, one of the brightest and most impressive constellations.

The north celestial pole is the "hub" of the northern sky. All the stars appear to rotate around this hub.

Today, the star Polaris marks the north pole. But Earth wobbles on its axis. It takes about 26,000 years to make one full wobble, and in that time, the north pole points to different stars. When the pyramids were built, the star closest to the pole was Thuban, in Draco, the dragon.

The stars close to the pole never set. The Egyptians described these stars as "imperishable" or "undying." Khufu expected that when he died, he would join not only with the Sun, but with Thuban as well č maintaining order in the celestial realm, just as he had on Earth.

Pharaoh also expected to join with Osiris, the god of the dead, who was represented by the stars that we know today as Orion.

The four stars forming the dragons head (beta Dra, gamma Dra, xi Dra and nu Dra), build a conspicuous asterism called the Lozenge. Draco belongs to the few constellations which really resemble the object they were named after. The northern boundary reaches higher than DECL=+80 degrees, the southern border stretches along DECL=+50 degrees; to the east and the west it extends from RA=10h to RA=20h. It looks like Draco is encircling the Little Bear, Ursa Minor.

Epsilon Dra is a good double to be observed with scopes at a moderate magnification. Its companions are about 3 arc sec apart. The binary mu Dra is a good test for a scope with an aperture of 60mm. Good optics might split that pair consisting of two F7 main sequence stars (5.83 mag and 5.80 mag).

An outstanding binary is nu Dra. The two white stars (an A6V and an A4m) have magnitudes of 4.88 and 4.87. They are a good object for binoculars. Small scopes reveal the 8th mag blue companion of the G9IIIbCN-0.5 star omicron Dra (4.66 mag).

A good binocular may be sufficient to split the pair of psi Dra. Small scopes show a 5th mag star and a 6th mag star. Another easy pair for small telescopes is 40-41 Dra. The two yellow stars are of 6th mag. Its coordinates are roughly RA=18h and DECL=+80 degrees. A really impressive triple system is 39 Dra. Field glasses show a wide double; in larger scopes a third star close to the brighter one occurs. Another attractive triple is 16-17. In binoculars two blue-white stars of 5th mag are revealed. Viewing with a telescope shows another star of 7th mag close to one of the first two.

At a magnitude of 8.8, the planetary nebula NGC 6543 is one of the brightest in the sky. It was the first planetary nebula to be observed with a spectroscope; the observers were surprised to find emission lines in the spectrum of this object. This started the controversy whether planetaries are numerous stars or, as it turned out to be, clouds of diffuse gas. A small telescope (about 70 to 80 mm aperture) shows a foggy blue-green disk; more powerful scopes are required to reveal the internal structure: a bright irregular helix. Since NGC 6543 is a circumpolar object for most observers, you can view it throughout the year. It can be found half way between delta Dra and zeta Dra (RA=18h is closely running through it).

The quasar 3C 351 lies at RA=17h, DECL=+60 deg. It has a brightness of 15.3 mag and shows a redshift of .371 in its spectrum. This yields a distance of about 7 billions (7*10^9) light-years. From October 6th to October 10th the meteor shower of the Draconids is active; this shower is associated with the comet Giacobini-Zinner and has a sharply defined maximum on October 9th.

In the middle of January the shower January Draconids seems to be active. There are only few hints for the existence of this shower. The Eta Draconids take place from March 22nd to April 8th. The maximum occurs between March 29th and March 31st. Between March 13th and April 17th the meteor shower of the Tau Draconids can be observed. The maximum occurs around the end of March. There is only little evidence for the showers of the September Eta Draconids and the Omicron Draconids .


Draco The Dragon of the North represents not one serpent of myth, but several.

The origin of the constellation, Draco, and of most dragon lore as well, was probably the Chaldean dragon Tiamat, the sea serpent who existed even before the sea and sky had been divided from each other, the dragon of chaos.

Tiamat was a monster of primeval darkness, just such a monster as exists in almost every mythology and must be overcome by the powers of sunlight before the creation of the world can take place.

The Sumerians and Babylonians, those early inhabitants of the Tigris and Euphrates Valley from whom we have inherited so much of our mythology and astronomy alike, envisioned the beginnings of creation as a hazy state of chaos, a gloom that was nothing in itself and yet contained the potentialities of all things.

With the passing of time, the first gods arose from this primordial sea and come into conflict with the force that had given them birth, the deep, wild, creative but evil force of this ocean dragon Tiamat.

Tiamat gained possession of the Tablets of Fate, which were supposed to confer upon their owner the power to rule the universe, and gave them to her husband for safekeeping.

Then she challenged the authority of the newly risen gods and rose against them in rebellion, summoning forth out of the slimy depths all the most frightful creatures that her evil brain could conceive to help her in the struggle, monsters whose like has never been seen again: serpents whose fangs dripped poison, scorpion-men and fish-men and monster-dogs.

So horrible were these creations that even the gods took fright and hid themselves safely away in their airy heaven and no one of them would go down to meet Tiamat.

No one, that is, until at last Marduk of Babylon came forth from among them and offered to fight as their champion. He was equipped with special magic powers bestowed on him by each one of the other gods at a hurriedly summoned council of war and thus armed, he went down to face the sea serpent in battle.

Even Marduk trembled and almost lost heart at the sight of the dragon and her monster brood. But Marduk had both strength and cunning. He had on his side the winds of heaven and, summoning all their strength together, he sent these on before him and they blew straight into the jaws of the unsuspecting Tiamat.

They rushed through her open mouth in a surging current, with all the tearing force of those great hurricanes that sometimes sweep the sea, and blew so fiercely into the very bowels of her body that she was racked and split asunder; then Marduk finished off the helpless monster with a blow of his club.

The serpents and the dogs and the scorpion men were useless without the power of their evil genius, and presumably they slunk away and vanished into that yet untamed sea from which they had come. Some say that they are still to be seen in the darkness of heaven, where they have taken on the shape of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

The north wind carried away the blood of Tiamat, and Marduk split her skull and tore her dragon skin into two pieces. With these he formed the heaven and earth, separating one from the other, and in the upper regions he set the homes of the gods, created the stars in the sky, and ordained the paths they should follow.

He outlined the constellations, placing them so that they should serve as signs to indicate the day, the years and the seasons to mankind. he fixed the dome of heaven in place with a great bolt, and set a watchman there to guard it. He surveyed the skies, and built the Zodiac. Then he rested from his labors,› hailed by gods and men alike as the dragon slayer.›

Early Greek myths tell of a great battle between the young gods and the older ones who had ruled for so very long. The new gods included Zeus and his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Known for its sharp vision and vigilance, Draco, The Dragon was the traditional guardian of temples and treasures as well as the springs of life and immortality. Hera, Queen of the Gods, enlisted the assistance of Draco to serve as protector of the precious golden apples, which she had presented Zeus on the day of their wedding, While performing this task, Draco was tragically slain by The Hero, Hercules, who stole away with the golden apples, which became a symbol of his immortality. Outraged by Hercules' daring accomplishment, Queen Hera rewarded Draco for his faithfulness by lifting him up into the sky to be remembered forever as a constellation and to be seen by all for eternity.

Athena was the Goddess of Arts, Crafts and War. There were also terrifying figures cast up out of the volcanic fires that belched out of the bowels of Earth. These monsters, who represented the universal forces of evil, were known as the Titans, or the Giants. During the battle, which lasted for ten long years, one the Titans hurled a fierce dragon at Athena. So great was her strength and so effective her magic shield that Athena was not frightened. She caught the dragon and, with one mighty heave, swung him high into the heavens. Up he soared, twisting and coiling this way and that until his long body had become tied in knots.› He came to rest in the northern sky and became fixed to that region around which the northern stars circle.›Today we see him forever asleep as the much-knotted, battered, and twisted Draco.

The Persians have regarded Draco as a man-eating serpent called 'Azhdeha'.

In early Hindu worship, Draco is given the form of an alligator known as 'Shi-shu-mara'.

The legend of Marduk is repeated in many cultures with similar tales of dragon slayers. Perseus, Hercules, Cadmus, Siegfried, Beowulf and St. George are all examples.


Beings in fish suits tend a Pillar of Light--Tree of LIfe

One such groups are the Nommos - (Gods) - described by an tribe called the Dogon tribe of Mali, Africa. The Dogon tribe have ancient celestial knowledge they claim was given to them by the Nommos. They say that the Nommos are amphibious beings sent to Earth from Sirius for the benefit of mankind. The name comes from a Dogon word meaning "to make one drink," and the Nommos are also called Masters of the Water, the Monitors, and the Teachers.

The Dogon tells the legend of the Nommos, awful-looking beings who arrived in a vessel along with fire and thunder.

After they arrived here - they put out a reservoir of water onto the Earth then dove into the water.

There are references in the oral traditions, drawings and cuneiform tablets of the Dogons, to human looking beings who have feet but who are portrayed as having a large fish skin running down their bodies.

The Nommos were more fishlike than human, and had to live in water. They were saviors and spiritual guardians: "The Nommo divided his body among men to feed them; that is why it is also said that as the universe "had drunk of his body," the Nommo also made men drink. He gave all his life principles to human beings."

The Nommo was crucified and resurrected and in the future will again visit the Earth, this time in human form. Later he will assume his amphibious form and will rule the world from the waters.

Dogon mythology is known only by a number of their priests, and is a complex system of knowledge. Such carefully guarded secrets would not be divulged to friendly strangers very easily. If the star Emme Ya is eventually discovered in the Sirius system, this would give considerably weight to the Dogon's story.

To read more about the Dogon Tribe Click Here