Winter is almost over and the stars are really faint in my part of the sky. But the winter hexagon is a beautiful sight, and knowing stuff makes me giddy, so here is this tid bit of knowledge. 😛
The winter hexagon is an asterism(simply means a pattern of stars in the sky) in the form of a hexagon with obviously,six vertices at six different stars. One of the vertices is at Sirius, the brightest star in the sky (the bottom one in the picture). On a starry night, look up at the wondrous blanket above and your eye will meet one that is brighter than all of the others, that’s Sirius for you.
Moving right,next up is Rigel, the right leg of the hunter.(Going anticlockwise from Sirius) On a line with the Orion’s belt, top right,the fiery eye of the bull, Aldebaran is an orange giant with a reddish hue. It was one of the Four Royal stars in ancient Persia. The star is so much bigger than our own and the star’s light takes about 3.5 days to reach the earth unlike the mere eight minutes from the sun.
Then we have Capella, and then Pollux, one of the brightest in Gemini, the twins, again identified with the help of Sirius and Orion. And lastly, we have Proxcyon, the brightest in Canis minor the lesser dog, fainter than Sirius the brightest in Canis major and brighter than Betelgeuse with the orangish hue. Proxcyon, Sirius and Betelgeuse(orange star inside the hexagon) form a distinct triangle like pattern called the winter triangle.
That’s all folks for today.
P.S. Image Credits : Jingpeng Photography