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02/10/2023 – Ephemeris – Finding Orion’s greater hunting dog, Canis Major

February 10, 2023 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, February 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 6:04, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:49. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:14 this evening.

The great winter constellation or star group, Orion the hunter, is located in the southern sky at 9 p.m. His elongated rectangle of a torso is vertical. In the center of the rectangle are three stars in a line that make his belt. As a hunter, especially one of old, he has two hunting dogs. The larger, Canis Major, can be found by following the three belt stars of Orion down and to the left. They point to Sirius, the brightest nighttime star, also known as the Dog Star. It’s in the heart of a stick figure dog low in the southeast facing Orion that appears to be begging. There’s a fine star cluster, called Messier, or M 41, at the 5 o’clock position from Sirius. It’s easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope.

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.

Addendum

Orion and Canis Major

Orion and Canis Major animation for earlier than 9 in the evening. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.