Archive for February 9, 2023

02/09/2023 – Ephemeris – Orion’s Belt stars

February 9, 2023 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, February 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 6:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:50. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:07 this evening.

Orion’s belt of three stars is one of the most noticeable star groupings in the sky. There are no other groups of three bright stars in a straight line visible anywhere else in the sky. The star’s names from left to right are Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. They are actually a bit farther away than the other bright stars of Orion. Alnilam, the center star, is over three times the distance of red giant Betelgeuse above them and over twice as far as blue white giant star Rigel below them. Alnilam is 375 thousand times brighter than the Sun according to the SIMBAD Astronomical Database. These three stars were also known as Frigga’s Spindle by the Norsemen. Frigga also known as Freya is the goddess from which we get the name of the day of the week Friday.

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's named stars

Orion’s named stars, including the belt stars. Created using Stellarium.