Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

Posts tagged “asterisms

Triangles of the Night Sky

Here are images of the two famous triangles of the night sky — the Summer Triangle and the Winter Triangle — that I took last October.

Winter Triangle - October 5, 2011 3:42 am. This triangle is formed by the three first magnitude stars Sirius in Canis Major, Procyon in Canis Minor, and Betelgeuse in Orion. This shape is a nearly perfect equilateral triangle.

Summer Triangle - October 4, 2011 11:00 pm. This asterism sets in the west shortly after sunset around now. It consists of three bright stars: Vega in the constellation Lyra, Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, and Altair in the constellation Aquila.

These two serve as a stellar calendar, marking the seasons.

The Summer Triangle is the signature star formation of summer. Likewise, the Winter Triangle is a landmark of the winter night sky.

Though December is just around the corner, the Summer Triangle still lights up these autumn evenings. It will continue to shine after dark throughout December and January.

Meanwhile, as the Summer Triangle descends in the west around mid-evening, the Winter Triangle can be seen rising in the east.

Isn’t it amazing that these stars that make up these celestial triangles just happen to be positioned the way they are in the night sky? 🙂

Both photos were taken from our suburban place in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. 

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Waxing Gibbous Moon in the Winter Hexagon

 

Moon and the Winter Hexagon directly above at 9 PM local time

Tonight’s waxing gibbous moon resides inside the Winter Circle – an incredibly large star configuration made of six brilliant winter stars.  Be sure to notice the variety in the colors of these stars.

The Winter Circle – sometimes called the Winter Hexagon – is not one of the 88 recognized constellations. Rather, it’s an asterism – a pattern of stars that’s fairly easy to recognize. Our sky chart cannot adequately convey the Winter Circle’s humongous size! It dwarfs the constellation Orion the Hunter, which is a rather large constellation, occupying the southwestern part of the Winter Circle pattern.

Clear skies!

 

reference: EarthSky.org