Girish Beeharry gkb at
Thu Oct 10 14:38:27 UTC 1996

>I have been reading a Skt text called Vrataraaja with a student. This 
>text is filled with astrological and astronomical references that 
>occasionally stump me completely. One is agastya. MW defines this as 
>Canopus. If only I knew what and where Canopus is in the sky! As the name 
>indicates, it seems to be a southern star, one that is visible from 
>Kaarttika maasa to Vai.saakha. In spite of that, I suspect it might be a 
>star in a raa'si or a nak.satra, if for no other reason than because 
>these were the usual templates through which classical India viewed the 
>sky. Any help out there?

I am not sure that agastya is Canopus but Canopus is the second brightest star
in the sky, after Sirius, and is in the southern constellation of Carina. It is
quite easily spotted next to the Southern Cross (Crux) , because of its being 
the only very bright object in that region of sky. Its declination is 52 
degrees south so, it is only visible to observers below a latitude of 38 
degrees south. That includes practically the whole of India.

I hope this helps.

Girish Beeharry

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