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Skywatch

Wed May 4, 2016 SHENANDOAH

After sunset this evening you’ll find two bright stars in the east. In the southeast is Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the maiden. The very bright star far off to the left of Spica, in the northeast sky, is called Arcturus. To the Shawnee Indians, Arcturus was known as Waupee, or the White Hawk. One day Waupee saw a magical basket descend from the sky. In the basket were twelve sisters. When the basket reached earth the heavenly sisters leaped out, and linking hands, began to dance in a circle. White Hawk fell in love with the youngest sister and they became husband and wife. But she was Shenandoah, which means "daughter of the stars."  And she longed to return to her father in the sky. The day came when Waupee and Shenandoah took their young son up into the sky country. There you may still see the sisters’ magic basket, the constellation Corona Borealis, a faint circlet of stars to the east of Arcturus.