With Winter in the Northern Hemisphere nearly over, my favorite Constellation, Orion, will start setting into the West sooner and sooner each night as the hunter gets ready for his Summer hiatus. Whether with telescope, binoculars, or no equipment at all, make sure you head outside in the coming weeks after Sunset to see Orion in the South and Southwest sky.
Notable parts of Orion to observe as well as surrounding stars (all assuming your perspective is the Northern Hemisphere):
- The bright three stars in the middle of Orion are the hunter’s belt
- Below Orion’s belt and to the (your) left you should be able to see the Orion Nebula, M42, as a smudge in the sky, even through bad light pollution
- The most famous and notable stars in Orion are Betelgeuse (upper left from your vantage) and Rigel (lower right from your vantage)
- To the far lower left side of Orion you should be able to see Sirius, brightest star in all of Earth’s skies
- To the upper right away from Orion you can find the star Aldebaran, brightest in the Constellation Taurus; Aldebaran is noteworthy because the Moon frequently passes by or occults this star