Orion - The Mighty Hunter
Orion – The Mighty Hunter

Winter skies are fabulous for star gazing!  This month, look for the familiar constellation Orion (The Mighty Hunter) as he makes his way slowly across the southern sky.  Orion is easily recognized by three bright stars that make up his belt.  Four bright stars mark his shoulders and feet.  The top left star that appears red-orange in color is Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle juice), a red giant star.  The bottom right star is Rigel, a blue-white star that joins Betelgeuse among the ranks of top ten brightest stars in the sky.

Every hunter needs his faithful hunting dog, and Orion’s is found just down and to the left of the constellation.  Sirius, also known as Canis Major, the greater dog star, is the brightest star in the night sky.  Seriously.  The only thing that can outshine Sirius are the planets, and there are two of them found in tonight’s sky as well.  Venus shines in the southwest after sunset, staying close to the sun and reflecting it’s light.  Jupiter is rising in the southeast and will be visible for many months as it makes its way across the southern sky.

Join us for an Astronomy program at the DPNC on Monday, February 9th, from 6-7:30pm! Register here.