Archive for January 10, 2023

01/10/2023 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Orion the hunter, unlucky in love

January 10, 2023 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 9:01 this evening.

Before the Moon rises tonight, we will have two hours of darkness. Winter’s central constellation, Orion the hunter, doesn’t need the Moon to be absent to see its principal stars. He’s in the southeast before the Moon rises with red Betelgeuse in one shoulder and dimmer Bellatrix on the other, Saiph at one knee and bright blue-white Rigel at the other. Between his shoulders and knees runs his belt of three stars in a line. Above Betelgeuse, he is holding a club aloft and from Bellatrix he holds a lion skin shield to defend himself from the charge of Taurus the bull, above and right of him. I consider him a hard luck hero, with three different stories on how he died. Unlucky in love, he’s consigned to chase the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades throughout eternity.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT –5 hours). They may be different for your location.


Orion finder animation with Mars

Orion finder animation with Mars. First, showing the unannotated sky looking southeast at Orion. Second, Orion with lines and labels of the stars at the corners of his body, and other bright stars in the view, plus the Pleiades and bright planet Mars, that’s just happening to be passing through this year. Third, the constellation art for Orion and Taurus the bull. Created using Stellarium, LibreOffice Draw and GIMP.

Here are the three stories of how Orion died: One: Orion raped the goddess Artemis, and so she killed him. Two: Orion was betrothed to Artemis, but her twin brother Apollo was jealous and caused her to kill him in a hunting “accident”. Three: Orion was killed by the sting of a scorpion, which is the reason Orion and Scorpius are never in the sky at the same time.