Night sky: 12/6

Night sky: 12/6

We’re headind to full on mid winter now in all it’s cold glory!

So have you seen the northern cross on the western horizon line at dusk and after as it sits there proudly upright and slowly moves down and north?  Deneb is that bright star on the top.  It’s a beautiful sight to my eyes, though the hills to my west cut into the image.  I see that western horizon better when I travel to town.  So that’s really the end of the summer triangle till next summer.  First it’ll start showing up in early dawn and work it’s way to almost overhead again by mid next summer.


The winter’s big definitive configuration is the hunter, Orion.  We talked of him last year also and probably always will each winter.  His is so dominant and clear.  His three in a row belt so easy to spot and his shoulders above and triangle for a head.  His sword hangs from his belt with it’s  own galaxy to look at with binoculars or stronger devices.  His legs sort of running below.  Sirius the dog star follows behind him to the lower left of him.   Sirius is the dog’s, Canus Major’s, heart; the star below his is leg and behind or left is a triangle:  his tail and back leg.


Here’s an interesting sequence:  start from that most brightest of stars, Sirius, go upper right to the three in a row belt [they line up nicely], then on to Aldebaran, a bright star in a small triangle which makes up The Hyades star cluster or the face of Taurus the bull, then keep going and find the seven sisters: the Pleiades a beautiful little clump of stars, some people see as a tiny dipper.   The Pleiades are a wonderful sight with binoculars for there are actually at least a hundred of stars or more than what our eyes can see.  The Pleiades are almost directly overhead in January and by February, Orion is south of overhead.


My hope is between cloudy weather there will be some spectacularly clear evenings or parts of them and you will bundle up and go behold the heavens.  Bring a grandmother, good friend, wife or child.  Let my scribblings above inspire you or give you an excuse to just go out and enjoy these miraculous skies we have here in the Applegate.  You’ve visited or come from many a city where they just don’t exist!   We are so blessed.


THE PLANETS, which means wanderers in Greek because they move around the stationary stars of the sky.  When we don’t see a planet it means it’s on the other side of the earth to our viewing and/or it’s behind or in front of the sun and not visible at all, any time till it get’s out of the sun’s glare.

The winter Solstice was on December 22nd.  The longest night of the year and shortest day.  Lots of time to read the gator by fire light!

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