Podcaster: Avivah Yamani

Title: Astro Folklore – The Birth of the Brightest Morning Star and the Evening Sparkle Stars

Organization: Planetary Science Institute; langitselatan

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Description:  This is a folklore from Mongolia about the birth of the brightest morning star and the evening sparkle stars.

Bio: Avivah Yamani is a an astronomy communicator from Indonesia.

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Welcome to the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. I’m Avivah, your host today. 

I will tell you a story from Mongolia about the birth of the brightest morning star and the evening sparkle stars. This story is part of the Stars of Asia Project and compiled by Altantsetseg Chimedtseren.  

Once upon a time there lived six brothers in a family. One day they gathered and discussed the idea of traveling the world. 

They then decided to travel separately and go in 6 different directions so they can learn more, get new knowledge and learn magic powers. They agreed to come back home after 3 years.

After they made their decision, they went on their separate journeys.

Three years later, five of the six brothers returned home, except for their youngest brother. While waiting, they told each other about their experience and what they have learned during the journey.

The oldest said he received a magic power to reveal secrets. The second told all his brothers he is able to know what actually happens in the far corners of the Earth without witnessing the event. The third brother bragged that he acquired the ability to fly, while the fourth said he is now a magician and he can disappear and be invisible whenever he wants. And finally, the fifth said he has the magic power to bring up anything he wants in front of him.

The five brothers had gained great powers and abilities during their journeys. Listening to all of this, the oldest said, “This is good. Let us work together to find our youngest brother and find out why he is not back yet.”

He started first. Using his power he can see the sixth fall in love with a beautiful princess from across the ocean. Next, the second foretold everyone that if they go to take their brother back, they will meet and fight the giant snake that lives on the island. This monster can suck in the storms and the water currents into its mouth and engulf any living creature. If we can overcome the danger, then we can bring back our brother safely.

But the third brother said, “Don’t worry. I can handle this. All you need is to tie yourselves together and I will make us fly over the ocean”.

Hey! I can find a way to trick the snake, said the fourth brother. And the fifth later said, “if the sixth brother returns safely, he will grant all his brother’s wishes.”

Then all the brothers went across the ocean to take their brother back. 

They flew across the ocean but a storm arose and the snake attacked. It tried to engulf and eat them all but the fourth brother used his magic to make them invisible. In the end, the snake failed to eat them and they arrived home safely.

All of them reunited after the long journey. The youngest brother had brought the princess as well. And the fifth brother fulfilled his promise to give everything they wanted, including a lot of livestock, clothes, and treasures.

Then… another problem came up.

Who will take the princess as a wife. The brothers have a disagreement on this.

The youngest said, ”I must marry her because I fell for her first”.

His 5th brother interrupted and said, ”I’m the one who prepared everything including this house, livestock, and treasures. Also, I fell in love with her.”

Wait! said the fourth. “Without my invisible power, all of you would have been eaten by the snake. Since I’m the one who helped here, I should marry her.”

No no no. How could you cross the ocean if I didn’t carry you all and fly? Because of me we can go to our little brother and the princess and take them back here without trouble. So, she belongs to me.

And the oldest added that no one will know where to look and what they will face during the trip if he didn’t tell the others in advance.

After listening to all the arguments, the princess finally said: No need to argue about it. Let’s all of us go up to heaven and live as the stars. I will become the brightest morning star and all six of you will transform into the evening stars (the Pleiades) so we will be reunited and can see each other once a year.

Once she finished, the beautiful princess transformed into the brightest morning star and the six brothers became evening stars. 

This is why the Mongolians dub Venus encounters with Pleiades as occurrences (or coinciding) of the morning and evening stars. They say it is when the beautiful princess meets the six brothers.

Conjunctions of Venus and the Pleiades happen yearly but the planet passes through the cluster only once every eight years. The Mongolian names for Venus and the Pleiades are Uuriin tsolmon and Michid.

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

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