What Are The 'Dog Days Of Summer?'

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - You've likely heard the term refer to our hottest summer days, but the term actually originated in southern Europe.

Way back in the ancient days, observers along the Mediterranean Sea used to follow Sirius, which is the brightest star in the nighttime sky and part of the constellation known as "The Big Dog" (when translated to English.) Thus, it was known as "the dog star."

On July 23, the star rises and sets with the sun, and the ancients believed the star was so bright, it gave off heat and added to the sun's warmth to make the days even hotter. Thus, the term "Dog Days of Summer" came to mean the 20 days before and after this alignment -- July 3 to Aug. 11.

Your Photos

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A Washington State Ferry waits its turn to dock at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal as the sun rises over Mount Baker in the background.
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During my time in Seattle, WA, I've had the opportunity to take all sorts of interesting pictures. There is water everywhere here, and in this shot; it provides a perfect mirror to the road above.
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These images were taken Friday and Saturday under with a bright moon. M42 is a 45 minute stack of 122 frames and M15 is a 34 minute stack of 14 frames. A Meade 6-inch refractor
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