This picture shows two different views of the constellation, The Big Dipper. The upper image is what we see from Earth and the lower from a different location in space.
The seven Rishis
According to the epic Mahabharata, composed in about 500 B.C., the stars of the Big Dipper
were the seven sages called Rishis. These seven
sages are said to be those who made the Sun
rise and shine. They were happily
married to seven sisters named Krttika
. They originally all lived together in
the northern sky.
But one day, the god of fire, Agni, emerged from the flames
of an offering performed by the seven Rishis and fell in love with the seven Krttika. Trying to forget his hopeless love for the
Krttika, Agni wandered in the forest where he met Svaha. To conquer Agni's love, Svaha disguised herself as six of the seven Krttika. Svaha could mimic only six of the Krttika
because the seventh sister Arundhati was too devoted to her husband to be imitated.
After a while, Svaha gave birth to a child that she named Skanda. With his birth, rumors began to spread that six of the Rishis' wives were his mother. Six of the Rishis divorced their wives. Arundhati was the only one that remained with her
husband as the star Alcor. The other six Krttika went away to become the Pleiades.
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