The Neck Mark (al-han’a)
The Neck Mark is a mark that appears on the lower part of a camel’s neck.
A pair of bright stars that are located high above and to the left of the Head of Jawza’.
γ GEM (Alhena), white star, magnitude 1.9
ξ GEM (Alzirr), yellow-white star, magnitude 3.4
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 Hair Whorl setting in early January and rising in late July, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Neck Mark does not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
In early listings of the lunar stations, the Neck Mark is the eighth station of the year. This was later changed to the sixth lunar station after the stations were adjusted to begin with the vernal equinox.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The stars that form the Neck Mark also represent the hilt of the Bow of Jawza’ (qaws al-jawza’) within the context of the Jawza’ (al-jawza’, الجوزاء) folkloric celestial complex.
Related Blog Posts