The Bow of Jawza’ (qaws al-jawza’)
A number of stars represent the bow held by the female figure of Jawza’. In the earliest times, the name “Jawza’ ” referred to only the three bright stars that are lined up in the middle of the figure.
A single line of both bright and dim stars that starts above the Flowing Locks of Hair located directly above the Head of Jawza’ and arcs around to the left and down her left side. The brighter stars include the pair of lunar station stars known as the Neck Mark (al-han’a).
η GEM (Tejat Prior), yellow variable star, magnitude 3.3
μ GEM (Tejat Posterior), yellow variable star, magnitude 2.9
ν GEM, blue-white star, magnitude 4.1
γ GEM (Alhena), blue-white star, magnitude 1.9
ξ GEM (Alzirr), white star, magnitude 3.4
S/15 MON, blue-white double star, magnitude 4.7
13 MON, blue-white star, magnitude 4.5
ε MON, white star, magnitude 4.4
The Bow of Jawza’ takes about two weeks to rise, beginning with the rising of the Neck Mark (al-han’a), and it sets for a week and a half, ending with the setting of the Neck Mark. Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Neck Mark was said to rise on the morning of June 23 and set on the morning of December 23. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Bow of Jawza’ setting in early January and rising in early to mid July, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Bow of Jawza’ does not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
The Bow of Jawza’ does not figure in the calendar of the lunar stations, but two of its stars form the sixth lunar station, the Neck Mark (al-han’a).
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Bow of Jawza’ is part of the Jawza’ (al-jawza’, الجوزاء) folkloric celestial complex, which developed over time from the central stars that mark her Belt of Pearls.
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