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Milky Way in Cairo: 3000 BCE to 2000 CE

The Milky Way is shown in the year given in monthly frames taken at the first of each month
at midnight as viewed from Cairo which is located at about 30 degrees N. latitude,
roughly the same as Jacksonville, FL or Austin, TX.
For comparison, Aswan is located at about 24 degrees N,
so the view from Upper Egypt would not be significantly different from the views given here.

The views are of the whole sky with south at the bottom, west to the right, east to the left.
Notice how the sky turns rather tightly around Polaris in 2000 CE, but not so for earlier millennia,
due to the precession of the equinoxes.

3000 BCE 2000 BCE 1000 BCE 1 CE 2000 CE

The animated gif files were generated from the free planetarium software package Cartes du Ciel,
and the commercial programs Macromedia Fireworks and GIF Construction Set.
Animations can be built directly in Cartes du Ciel, but I wanted to include a customized date for each gif,
so I entered the dates in Fireworks, then assembled the gifs in GIF Construction Set.

I found the planetarium software by entering the search terms "planetarium software" into a Google search.
This led me to the following first hit:
http://astro.nineplanets.org/astrosoftware.html
which lists planetarium programs for various platforms. Under "Windows" I picked the first "free" package,
"Cartes du Ciel", downloaded and installed the complete package 2.76 (15 MB) and was up and running in minutes.
It is amazingly comprehensive and intuitive!

Click here for static images of the Milky Way from Luxor