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When was Alpha Orion on Zenith at Latitude +20 degrees? And for How Long?
As for Orion's present position on +7 degrees latitude (as of AD 2000 [ 2100 AD max declination is achieved ]), as the solstices migrate to their December
position (Capricorn), a Orionis has an excellent chance of being visually aligned with Orion on latitude +20 degrees during the winter season of the
Northern Hemisphere (seasonally). At present, alpha Orion is marginally south from Zenith at Midnight, as observed from
December to January 2002 with the naked eye from local latitude. This remaining angle will be closed over the next 100 years. Thereafter, Orion will steadily fall south.
We have asked many people (Astronomers and non astronomers) and they all agree that Orion is indeed very, very close to overhead. Some (especially the priest class) said it is already overhead! In fact, Orion rises much to the north of our locale and straddles the eastern horizon. At zenith, it gets squeezed which, in itself, indicates (naked eye science) that indeed the declination / altitude is at it maximum. Today, Orion takes a slight northeast off east to southwest of west trajectory.
Observation like this was the only tool available to the ancient astronomer-priest. The wobbling of the Globe and its 23.5 degree inclined axis, was certainly not known to them. Therefore, the observation path would likely have been their gross and net idea of the trajectory and location of Orion and all other astral bodies. They copied accordingly.
It works out thus: the precessional movement of Orion, from latitude +18 degrees to latitude +23.5 degrees and back, until latitude +18 was reached (i.e. +10 or +11 degrees), Orion was aligned with +20 degrees latitude (for the naked eye observer) on latitude +18 degrees to latitude 23.5 for between 5500 and 6000 years. It may have appeared in such alignment around 36,000 B.C. to 32,000 B C. and returned back, after visibly aligning with the Tropic of Cancer and the ecliptic ( above ( i )).
Such apparent alignment may have been visible over the whole of the Indian sub- continent a few thousand years prior to 36000 - 32,000 BC, until approx. 10,000 BC,
where after it precessed out towards the south and the sea (below latitude +8 degrees), an area recognized today as pitris or Pitriloka (home of ancestors of the Hindus)
and to where the soul is said to return! Pitris, it may be noted, roughly coincides with the southern-most point of Orion's precessional path, that is, the Indian
Pitris or Pitrilaoka is a mythic & Vedic concept considered by the Hindus as the celestial abode of the soul post demise . The Hindus offer
oblation ( called Tarpan ) to the soul of the deceased parents & grand parents by sitting beside a water body , facing south !
Pitris is also identified by Hindu astronomy as Siddhanta.8