01/04/2016 – Ephemeris – Some named stars in Orion and how to remember them
Ephemeris for Monday, January 4th. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:15. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:49 tomorrow morning
Now that the Moon has fled let’s turn to the dark skies of winter and the magnificent constellation of Orion the hunter. At 9 p.m. he’s not yet completely upright in the southeast at 9 p.m. His seven bright stars make him easy to spot, starting with his belt of three stars in a straight line angling down to the left. It is inside a rectangle framing his shoulders and knees, leaning now to the left. The bright reddish star at the upper left corner is Betelgeuse, which according to a certain movie one shouldn’t say three-time in a row. The other shoulder star is a name familiar to Harry Potter fans, Bellatrix, though there’s nothing Lestrange about it. The lower right star is the bright blue-white Rigel. All in all a very impressive constellation.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.