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Posts Tagged ‘Bellatrix’

01/07/2019 – Ephemeris – The stars of Orion

January 7, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, January 7th. The Sun will rise at 8:19. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 5:18. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 6:57 this evening.

The seven bright stars of Orion now shine in the southeastern sky in the evening. Two shoulder stars, Betelgeuse, and Bellatrix, Two knee stars Saiph, and Rigel, In between are the three belt stars in a row, Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. Betelgeuse and Rigel are first magnitude stars, among the brightest in the sky, while the others are second magnitude. As far as brightness goes it puts the Big Dipper to shame with its six second magnitude and one third magnitude stars. Of course we in northern Michigan have the Big Dipper always, because it never sets. Orion, only about six months. Due to its position straddling the equator of the sky, Orion is seen by all the people of the world. Parts of him are even seen at the north and south poles.

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

Addendum

Orion's brightest stars

Orion’s brightest stars with their names for 9 p.m. January 7, 2019. Click on the image to make Orion a giant hunter. Created using Stellarium..

 

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02/08/2018 – Ephemeris – The wonderfully named stars of Orion

February 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, February 8th. The Sun will rise at 7:53. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 6:01. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 3:09 tomorrow morning.

The constellation of Orion the hunter is visible in the south at 9 p.m. The stars of Orion are interesting in themselves. Starting at the top left of the seven bright stars of Orion’s torso is Betelgeuse the bright red star, whose name means something like “Armpit of the Giant”. The star in Orion’s other shoulder is Bellatrix the “Amazon Star”. Below are the three stars of Orion’s belt, from left to right; Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Their names mean “Girdle”, “Belt of Pearls”, and “Belt” respectively. Down to Orion’s knees we look on the left to the star Saiph pronounced ‘safe’ which means “Sword”, though it is some ways from the stars of Orion’s sword. Finally there’s the bright blue-white star Rigel whose name means “Left Leg of the Giant”.

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

Addendum

Orion with star names.

The named stars of Orion. Created using Stellarium.

Betelgeuse, pronounced Beetlejuice is the name of a 1988 movie, where Betelgeuse (spelled properly) is a particularly mischievous demon.  Don’t say his name three times, or he’ll come and ‘help’ you.  Oops, I did.  It is a red giant star near the end of its life.

Bellatrix, is now known to most of us now as the first name as the first name of Bellatrix Lestrange from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book and movie series.  Other members of the Black family have astronomical names, such as Regulus (Leo) Black, and Sirius (Canis Major) Black.

The names of the belt stars were taught to me by Evelyn Grebel of the Grand Rapids Public Museum in the late 1950s.  She was one of the founders of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association.  The names Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka have stuck with me ever since.  It was through her that I was able to worm my way into working at the museum’s new then unnamed planetarium.  I also remember being in her office with her, listening to the radio as Alan Shepard made his historic suborbital flight on May 5th, 1961.

Rigel is a hot blue-white star, and will probably become a red giant star like Betelgeuse.  There is another bright star named Rigel, but most don’t know it.  It’s Rigel Kentaurus, the leg of the centaur of Centaurus.  It’s better known as Alpha Centauri, a catalog designation, and the nearest star to the solar system.

12/27/2016 – Ephemeris – The stars of Orion

December 27, 2016 2 comments

Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 27th.  The Sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:09.  The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 7:26 tomorrow morning.

The large and bright constellation of Orion the hunter is in the southeast at 9 p.m., with the bright star Sirius below it near the horizon.  The equally spaced line of three stars of Orion’s belt are nearly vertical and point down to Sirius, also known as the Dog Star in Canis Major, Orion’s greater dog.  The whole of its constellation stars aren’t up at 9 p.m., but they will all clear the horizon by 10 p.m.   Those three belt stars are in the center of an elongated rectangle of stars  At the top left of Orion’s shoulder stars is the red giant star Betelgeuse.  The right shoulder star is Bellatrix.  Both Bellatrix and Sirius along with the names of other stars and constellations should be familiar to fans of the Harry Potter novels and movies, as members of the house of Black.  The knee stars at the bottom of the rectangle are, from left to right Saiph and the brilliant blue giant star Rigel.  Between his belt and knees are stars of his sword.

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

Addendum

Orion

Orion, star names, and constellation art animation position for 9 p.m. December 27. Created using Stellarium and GIMP. Artist: Johan Meuris.

In the image above I’ve added the belt star names, though they are generally covered in a program of their own.

01/04/2016 – Ephemeris – Some named stars in Orion and how to remember them

January 4, 2016 Comments off

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.

Addendum

Orion's bright named stars

Some of Orion’s star names. Orion at 9 p.m. January 4, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

12/27/2013 – Ephemeris – The star Procyon: “Before the Dog”

December 27, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, December 27th.  The sun will rise at 8:18.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:08.   The moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:48 tomorrow morning.

Yesterday I talked about the brilliant star Sirius, the dog star pointed to by the stars of the belt of Orion.  Today we’ll look at another dog star. Procyon, the bright star in Canis Minor, the lesser dog.  It is pointed to by the top two stars in the Orion rectangle Bellatrix and Betelgeuse.  One of the translations of Procyon means “Before the Dog”.  This seemingly odd title is explained that even though Procyon is east of Sirius and all things being equal, well at least latitude or declination the eastern star should rise after the western star.  However Procyon is north of Sirius and if one is sufficiently north of the equator, the eastern most star can rise first.  This is what happens.  Procyon is a bit farther away than Sirius and isn’t quite as bright either.

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

 Addendum

Procyon is already up as Sirius rises.  Procyon also sets after Sirius.  Created using Stellarium.

Procyon is already up as Sirius rises. Procyon also sets after Sirius. Created using Stellarium.

Note:  Stellarium approximates atmospheric extinction, that is dims objects when they are near the horizon an effect due to looking through more of the Earth’s atmosphere when looking close to the horizon.  That’s why Sirius looks rather fainter than in yesterday’s image.

01/25/2013 – Ephemeris – The star names of Orion

January 25, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 25th.  The sun will rise at 8:08.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 5:42.   The moon, 1 day before full, will set at 7:23 tomorrow morning.

The constellation of Orion the hunter is visible in the south at 9 p.m. The stars of Orion are interesting in themselves. Starting at the top left of the seven bright stars of Orion’s torso is Betelgeuse the bright red star, whose name means something like “Armpit of the Giant”. The star in Orion’s other shoulder is Bellatrix the “Amazon Star”. Below are the three stars of Orion’s belt, from left to right; Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Their names mean “Girdle”, “Belt of Pearls”, and “Belt” respectively. Down to Orion’s knees we look on the left to the star Saiph which means “Sword”, though it is some ways from the stars of Orion’s sword. Finally there’s the bright blue-white star Rigel whose name means “left Leg of the Giant”.

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

Addendum

Orion with star names

Orion with star names

12/16/11 – Ephemeris – The constellation Orion rising

December 16, 2011 Comments off

Friday, December 16th.  The sun will rise at 8:12.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:03.   The moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 11:49 this evening.

At 9 p.m. the constellation of Orion the giant hunter will be rising in the east southeast, with its belt stars nearly vertically aligned.  The belt stars are contained within a tilted rectangle of four bright stars that’s leaning to the left.  The brightest of the top stars is Betelgeuse a bright red star.  It’s a huge red giant star.  Both top stars are Orion’s shoulders.  The other shoulder star is Bellatrix.  The bottom stars are Orion’s knees.  The brightest, diagonally opposite from Betelgeuse is Rigel, a bright blue-white giant star.  The other knee star is named Saiph.  Orion is home to a beautiful nebula or cloud of gas, which we’ll explore later this winter, visible in binoculars it is located right and below Orion’s belt stars.

* Times, as always are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.

Addendum

Orion with star names