Why Do We Call Summer Heat The ‘Dog Days’?
YUP, it's hot out there. But that's summer for you.
These are "The Dog Days Of Summer."
When I first heard that I thought they meant that this was the time of year that dogs seemed to melt under the head. They all look so sad as they pant along down the road looking for water and shade.
But that's not where the term "Dog Day's Of Summer" comes from.
As it turns out, that old adage is much older than you might think.
The phrase actually has to do with the stars and it dates back as far as the Greeks and Romans. Actually, even father than that. It goes back to the Egyptians, about 3150 BC. They kept track of the seasons by looking up at the sky.
The star Sirius, also known for the past several thousand years as "dog star" makes up the nose of a constellation shaped like a dog.
Sirius appearing in the sky just before the sun, near the end of July, that marked the beginning of the very hottest days of the year.
The Romans referred to this period as "dies caniculares" or "days of the dog star."
Over time people shortened that to just simply, "dog days."
According to National Geographic those seasons had to change because the Earth's rotation wobbles.
What is summer to us now was not so several thousand years ago.
The Earth completes one full wobble about every 26,000 years.
This, over time, has a major impact on the seasons as well as the climate.
Today Sirius does not appear in the sky at the same time of year as it did back in the times of the Greeks and Romans.
Today the Farmer's Almanac lists the modern dog days as lasting 40 days from July 3- August 11.
As the Earth continues to slowly wobble the dog days will mean the days of winter, not summer.