For some reason the author doesn't even mention https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcyone_(star) which is written into the map.
What better place to preserve a star map than an indestructible cement dam in the desert.
I'd suggest away from the base of a substantial cliff face might improve your preservation odds.
In classical antiquity, Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab) was closer to the celestial north pole than Alpha Ursae Minoris. While there was no naked-eye star close to the pole, the midpoint between Alpha and Beta Ursae Minoris was reasonably close to the pole, and it appears that the entire constellation of Ursa Minor, in antiquity known as Cynosura (Greek Κυνοσούρα "dog's tail") was used as indicating the northern direction for the purposes of navigation by the Phoenicians. The ancient name of Ursa Minor, anglicized as cynosure, has since itself become a term for "guiding principle" after the constellation's use in navigation.
Alpha Ursae Minoris (Polaris) was described as ἀειφανής "always visible" by Stobaeus in the 5th century, when it was still removed from the celestial pole by about 8°. It was known as scip-steorra ("ship-star") in 10th-century Anglo-Saxon England, reflecting its use in navigation. In the Hindu Puranas, it is personified under the name Dhruva ("immovable, fixed").
In the medieval period, Polaris was also known as stella maris "star of the sea" (from its use for navigation at sea),
For an entertaining science fiction look at that possibility, see season 2 episode 5 of "The Orville". Briefly, they encounter a civilization that believes strongly in astrology, to the point of using it as the basis of a very rigid caste system that pretty much determines at birth what jobs are open to you and what your place will be in society.
I don't want to give any spoilers, but I will say that the question of what happens when a constellation changes is an important one in this episode.
TLDR: I'm guessing you don't actually know a heck of a lot about astrology. Your assertion looks baseless to me.
Not really. Astrology is basically observed associations from the point of view of the Earth. For example, it will mark planets as "retrograde," which means they appear to be moving backwards from our view here on Earth, though no planet ever actually turns around and moves backwards.
I've studied astrology some. I think there are some serious issues with traditional western astrology, such as the fact that most meanings, rulerships, etc, were assigned at a time when humans observed the night sky with the naked eye. We have only relatively recently discovered additional planets (thanks to telescopes) and kind of shoe-horned those in (to traditional astrology), mostly without research, from what I gather.
One somewhat famous astrologer once proposed in one of her books that we should include the Earth in all astrological charts "because if we ever colonize Mars, we will need to include the Earth in those charts." Mathematically speaking, the Earth is already included, implicitly, in the House System, though it could stand to be assigned rulership etc and included more explicitly in other ways.
Yeah, no one here has any clue what the hell I'm going on about. I'll shut up now.
> The reason we have historically paid so much attention to this celestial center, or North Star, is because it is the star that stays put all through the course of the night. Having this one fixed point in the sky is the foundation of all celestial navigation.
The Polynesian navigators, who achieved amazing feats of open water navigation, managed to sail deep into the southern hemisphere (as far south as New Zealand) where Polaris is simply not ever visible. But they still practiced celestial navigation without this 'foundation'.  The European explorers, who sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and through the Strait of Magellan and across the Southern Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, also likewise had to do without this 'foundation'.
When you come from the southern hemisphere you notice this casual, unthinking "northern hemispherism" all the time.
No one reasonably interprets "Having this one fixed point in the sky is the foundation of all celestial navigation" to mean "All celestial navigation in all circumstances requires a view of Polaris". For instance, people still do celestial navigation in the Northern Hemisphere when Polaris is obscured by terrain. But no one would use that fact to point out that the author's statement was wrong, and that when you're from a low-latitude mountainous area you notice this "high-latitude/non-mountainous-ism" all the time.
The Long Now Foundation isn’t getting caught with its pants down in an amateur Y10K bug!
Yes, they try to do that everywhere as part of their "long term thinking" mission.
"The Holocene calendar, also known as the Holocene Era or Human Era (HE), is a year numbering system that adds exactly 10,000 years to the currently dominant (AD/BC or CE/BCE) numbering scheme"
To me, it seems a little redundant to add a fixed 10,000 even if t0 is "near the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch and the Neolithic Revolution". So, so me using 02019 is just as arbitrarily as good.
Many take issue with the continued use of a religious calendar in post-enlightenment society, and everybody knows that calling it "common era" is silly, because 1. It's a meaningless phrase, 2. It's audibly ambiguous, and 3. It's about as effective at covering up the ecumenical meaning as a happy face sticker is for covering a severed arm.
Counting from the approximate dawn of civilization is a far more appropriate measure. The fact that it matches up with the AD calendar after year 10000 is a nice bonus.
When you begin to look into their stories (dreamtime) and the way they've always lived and more importantly, the way they have passed down information generation to generation, it's utterly remarkable. Yet this 10,000 value would belittle that rich living history imho.
Admittedly 10,000 years ago is roughly the Younger Dryas era, so yes, most history has been lost since before that time, but it does exist nevertheless.
> it is worth explaining what exactly axial precession is.
This kind of writing just irritates me.
The article is more of a story and explaining axial precession distracts from that story. It is better suited explained later in amongst the rest of the diagrams and illustrations.
The problem then is how do you tell your story and include axial precession?
For readers like me who already know the term and sort of grok the concept we don't need early explaining. What I did need is the later graphic / explaining once the author started to link the concept in with other concepts not discussed until later.
So either follow the rigid explain first rule or have it clustered where it is relevant and useful.
Im not particularly going to judge either way there.
Talk about missing the point of the article.
The monument isn't 26000 years old, but the themes are incredibly old. The astronomical alignments, mysterious guardian sphinxes. This does seem like a 1930s contribution to artsy ideas going back through bronze age Egypt, Mesopotamia and lots of other places.
My favorite structure is probably the improbably Star Wars/Tatooine flavored parking garage though!
Makes we wish I could see Hoover Dam someday, a thing I have never had any desire to do before. But this is cool.
> The view that you really want to have of the plaza is directly from above. You would need a crane to get this view of the real thing,
This is what drones were invented for. I'd love to see a picture of the whole clock.
I'm was dissapointed that the statues seem to play no role at all, no nifty alignment of shadows seems like a wasted oportunity if you are making an astronomy monument.
Mods: can you edit the title, as I no-longer can.