Home > Constellations, Ephemeris Program > 12/26/2016 – Ephemeris – Orion takes its place as the central winter constellation

12/26/2016 – Ephemeris – Orion takes its place as the central winter constellation

December 26, 2016

Ephemeris for Monday, December 26th.  The Sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:08.  The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 6:33 tomorrow morning.

The great constellation of Orion the hunter has claimed his rightful position as the central winter constellation.  It’s the most famous constellation of all.  Think the Big Dipper is a big deal?   They can’t even see it from the large population centers of Australia.  Parts of Orion can be seen from every part of the Earth from pole to pole.  Orion’s distinctive feature is his belt of three bright stars in a row.  This tilted belt is in the center of a large rectangle of bright stars.  The upper left star is Betelgeuse a red giant star.  The lower right star is Rigel a blue giant star.  Orion was an unlucky fellow of Greek myth.  One wonders why he gets this splashy constellation in Winter while Hercules gets a dim upside down constellation in the spring sky.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Orion photograph

Orion and the head of Taurus photograph by myself January 4, 2016 at 11:30 p.m. It’s a stack of unguided 20 second exposures.

Otion as seem from most of the Earth

Orion from mid latitudes north of the equator. Orion would be upside down if viewed south of the equator. Created using Stellarium.

The Ephemeris radio programs are very short (59 seconds) so I will visit Orion several times during the winter to explore its mythology and deep sky wonders within, or search past posts for Orion.

 

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