Learn about the history of the term the dog days of summer.
Summer is here and temperatures are heating up. The dog days of summer are soon upon us and it’s important to be prepared to keep cool. Ever wondered where the term “dog days of summer” originated?
Often it is thought that the term the dog days of summer comes from how dogs respond to the heat of the summer. However, the terms actually has nothing to do with our canine friends. The term originated in ancient Rome. The constellation Canis Major, meaning large dog, showcases the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. During the summer this start rises and sets with dusk and dawn. During the time of year when this phenomenon occurred, the Romans called it the “diēs caniculārēs” otherwise known as “dog days”.
Time is Relative.
There are various dates that are noted as the dog days of summer. During ancient Roman times, the dog days lasted from July 24 to August 24. However, due to changes in the positioning of the constellation, the time has changed to begin July 3 and end on August 11.
The dog days of summer are some of the warmest days of the year. The reason for the heat is caused by the Earth’s tilt, which is responsible for giving us seasons. In the northern hemisphere, summer takes place from June until September. Because of the Earth’s tilt, the sun hits the northern hemisphere at a more direct angle, causing temperatures to rise. In the southern hemisphere, the time of year with the highest temperatures exists during January through March. Keep in mind that the summer heat may vary with changes in latitude and regional climate.
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