Rare epoch of bright pole stars – 12000 BCE

A reader wrote…

“After reading the book “The Historic Rama”, I have the following question:

Were Vega (Abhijit) and Canopus (Agastya) the respective North and South pole stars around 12000 BCE? If yes, this would have been a rare epoch of having 2 very bright stars as pole stars.

My Response…

Indeed! While Abhijit (Vega) was near NCP (North celestial pole), Agastya (Canopus) was near SCP (South celestial pole) during ~12000 BCE.

Of course Agastya never gets very close to SCP, unlike Abhijit (Vega). Since these two stars have very slow Proper motions, their positions in the sky have remained practically unchanged and thus the event is repeated every ~26,000years, i.e. once through every cycle of Precession of eqinoxes.

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