Orion Rising

A beautiful view of Orion in a photo taken by Rogelio Bernal Andreo showing the surrounding nebulas of the Orion Molecular Cloud complex. Also captured is the red supergiant Betelgeuse (top left) and the famous belt of Orion composed of the OB stars Altitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. To the bottom right can be found the star Rigel.  via Wikimedia

The Full Moon of October is often called the Hunter’s Moon but Orion the Hunter is not limited to hunting in that month.

Orion is the first constellation I learned to spot in the night sky. It is very distinctive because of the short, straight row of three medium-bright stars at its mid-section that we call “Orion’s Belt.”

This constellation appears in the predawn sky in late July or early August. Now, in late August and early September, Orion the Hunter rises in the early hours of the morning (which many of us think of as night) and is up int the sky an hour before or at dawn.

But the shift continues and it will soon enough rise by midnight, then at my bedtime and by the time we reach the end of the year, Orion will be rising in the early evening. This shift from predawn to the evening sky is just like the westward shift of all the stars.  The shift is caused by Earth’s orbit around the sun which causes all the stars to rise approximately four minutes earlier each day.

Showing the stars and shape of Orion and his belt

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Ken Ronkowitz

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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