How to Find Winter Constellations
in the Northern Hemisphere
Above: Winter Star Chart for the Northern Hemisphere
The Winter Hexagon (or Winter Circle)
Connect-the-Stars to form the Winter Hexagon
Above: Winter Hexagon (note star color):
Capella is yellow.
Aldebaran is orange.
Betelgeuse is red.
Rigel is blue.
Sirius is blue-white.
Click here: Winter Circle (Hexagon)
Click here: The 88 Constellations / Why Stars Twinkle
Above: The Stars of Orion (Follow the belt down to Sirius)
Above: How to find Sirius, the dog star (the #1 brightest star in the winter sky)
Use Orion to find: Taurus, Lepus, Canis Major and Minor, Gemini
If you can find Orion, you can find Taurus and the Pleiades.
The Pleiades Star Cluster = "Seven Sisters"
Subaru = Pleiades
Orion the Hunter: Try to find Betelgeuse, Rigel, and both Nebulas
Auriga the Charioteer shares a star (Alnath) withTaurus the Bull
Greek Myth: Phaethon (Auriga), Helios, the Chariot of the Sun, and the River Eridanus
Northern February Constellations
Below: Canis Major and Sirius the "Dog Star"
Below: Jupiter in Taurus (December, 2012)
Click here: Planets in December 2012 / January 2013
Below: Test you knowledge of the winter sky.
Can you find Orion, Canis Major and Minor, Taurus and Gemini above?
Above: The Position of the Big Dipper in all Four Seasons
Above: The Five Northern Circumpolar Constellations
(Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Ursa Minor, Draco, Ursa Major)
Above: Swirl around Polaris, the North Pole Star
Concord, MA - 36 Minute Exposure (Thanks Maya C.)
Pass Polaris...find the House (King) and W (Queen)
The King and Queen: Cepheus and Cassiopeia
Princess Andromeda and her hero, Perseus
Below: Cetus (Perseus saved Andromeda from this Sea Monster)
Below: Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus and Cassiopeia
Click here: Andromeda
Above: Look for the Andromeda Galaxy in the armpit of the princess!
Draco and the Dippers...
Note: The Big and Little Dippers are not constellations, but are called Asterisms.
An Asterism is a collection of known stars in the sky that is NOT a constellation.
( ie: Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Summer Triangle, Winter Circle, The Pleiades )
Pointer stars (Merak and Dubhe) in the "Big Dipper" lead to the North Star.
The Big Dipper (asterism) is actually part of Ursa Major (the Great Bear).
Polaris (the North Star) is in the Little Dipper, which is part of Ursa Minor (the Small Bear).
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
The Big and Little Dippers with Draco
Learn More: Draco the Dragon / Ursa Major and Ursa Minor - The Bears & Dippers
Name that Constellation...