~ Useful Links ~

Extra Credit




~Photo Credits~








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

~ Constellation Connect-the-Dots ~

The Royal Family: King Cepheus, Queen Cass, Princess Andromeda

Learn More: Royal Family of the Night Sky / Other Constellations

Cassiopeia - The Queen
Gemini - The Twins (Castor and Pollux)

Learn More: Ethiopian Queen Cassiopeia / Gemini Twins - Castor and Pollux

Taurus - The Bull
Pegasus - The Flying Horse

Learn More: Taurus the Bull / Pleiades Star Cluster - The Seven Sisters / Pegasus

Orion - The Hunter
Canis Major - The Hunting Dog

Learn More: Orion the Great Hunter / Canis Major and Minor - the Hunting Dogs

(the Little Hot Dog)

Do you see a little hunting dog

in the constellation connect-the-dots above?

Astronomers must have active imaginations!

Name that Constellation...

Credits: science-teachers.com / stardate.org