Arundhathi

Photo courtesy : AllTheSky.com
ShaptaRishiMandalam

Sunday night, I was coming back from my home town. I got a window seat without even asking for it. Summer has started, you need to specifically ask for the window seat, otherwise you may have to sweat out. :).

When the bus goes through the villages and remote areas( where there is no light pollution ) you get a wonderfull view of teh sky, which is not possible in Chennai :(. Was looking at the stars and the different contellations.

When I saw the Big dipper( Shapta Rishi Mandalam – image above ) in the North Sky, I remembered the customs in some marriages, where the groom shows the “Arundhati” in the North direction. I wonder if they really know the significance of that.

As per mythology(history ??) : Arundhathi is the wife of Rishi Vasishtha.Arundhati was a model wife.She loved and served her husband Vasishtha with all her heart.

Vasishtha is the second star in that constellation. If you look at it in a clear sky you find another start close to it. She is Arundhati. The interesting fact is, these are the most famous and easiest of all double stars ( named Mizor and Alcor ). They both orbit the same center of mass of theirs, and they travel through the cosmos together. Somehow, our people should have known this fact, when they started this custom of showing the Arundhati star.

You can test you eye power by tring to spot Arundhati. It shouldn’t be a tough task to find Big Dipper in North direction. Otherwise you need to use a telescope.

Anyway, that’s not the end. I learned some other interesting fact recently :
Point your telescope at them and ask yourself, “Am I able to split these two stars when focused?”. Don’t be stunned if you see another dim third star.You are seeing an additional companion to Mizor(Vasishtha)…three stars, which are physically related, thus being a trinary.

What does the third star signify…?? Did our people knew a thrid start exist at all, when they started this custom??

Is it the……

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“The love that lasts longest is the love that is never returned.”
– William Somerset Maugham