The Clenched Forearm (adh-dhira’ al-maqbuda)
The Clenched Forearm is one of the Two Forearms (adh-dhira’an) of the Arabian megaconstellation of the Lion (al-asad). At some point, the Two Forearms were differentiated by the Arabs as the Clenched Forearm (adh-dhira’ al-maqbuda) and the Extended Forearm (adh-dhira’ al-mabsuta). The Clenched Forearm was the first pair to set and included the star that designated the Little Bleary-Eyed One (ash-shi’ra al-ghumaysa’).
A pair of bright stars that follows the figure of Jawza’.
α CMI (Procyon), yellow-white star, magnitude 0.4
β CMI, (Gomeisa), blue star, magnitude 2.9
On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Clenched Forearm setting in early January and rising in early August, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
In the calendars of Qushayr and Qays, the morning settings of the Two Forearms (adh-dhira’an) together occur during the cold winter season called ash-shita’.
Although the ecliptic (the path of the Moon against the stellar background) passes more or less right between the two pairs of stars that made up the Two Forearms, the Moon comes somewhat closer to the Extended Forearm, and so within the context of the lunar stations only it, and not the Clenched Forearm, had the honor of being a lunar station.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Clenched Forearm is part of the Lion (al-asad, الأسد) folkloric celestial complex, which extends from the Two Forearms (adh-dhira’an, الذراعان) to the Two Shanks (as-saqan, الساقان).
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