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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