~ Useful Links ~

Zodiac Constellations




~Photo Credits~








How to Find Winter Constellations

in the Northern Hemisphere

Above: Winter Star Chart for the Northern Hemisphere

Below: Test you knowledge of the winter sky.

Can you find Orion, Canis Major and Minor, Taurus and Gemini above?

The Winter Hexagon (or Winter Circle)

Connect-the-Stars to form the Winter Hexagon

Click here: Winter Circle (Hexagon)

Get to know the Winter Circle:

Above: Winter Circle (note star color):

Capella is yellow.

Aldebaran is orange.

Betelgeuse is red.

Rigel is blue.

Sirius is blue-white.

Betelgeuse is RED. Rigel is BLUE.

Orion the Hunter:

Locate Betelgeuse, Rigel, Horsehead Nebula and Orion Nebula

Above: The Stars of Orion the Hunter (with distances in lightyears)

BETELGEUSE is a RED SUPERGIANT star, and will explode as a SUPERNOVA in the future!

Betelgeuse is Arabic for "arm pit of the giant."

Orion is a great hunter. Run, Lepus the Hare, run...

There is a UNICORN between the two dogs! ( MONOCEROS )

Above: How to find Sirius, the dog star ( the #1 brightest star in the winter sky )

Sirius can be thought of as the diamond in the collar of the dog, Canis Major.

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 = The "Seven Sisters"

Subaru = Pleiades (in Japanese)


Auriga the Charioteer shares a star (Alnath) with Taurus the Bull

Auriga contains the bright, yellow star Capella, part of the Winter Circle.

The triangle of three stars below Capella represent the three goats:

Greek Myth: Phaethon (Auriga), Helios, the Chariot of the Sun, and the River Eridanus


Click here: Video: The January Sky 2015 / January Planets 2015

Northern February Constellations


Above: The Big Dipper's seasonally changing position in the sky.

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.)

Use the pointer stars of the Big Dipper to pass Polaris...

...find the four (4) members of the ROYAL FAMILY of the northern night sky:

(King Cepheus) and (Queen Cassiopeia)

(Princess Andromeda) and (Perseus the Hero)

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