I get home from work after 8 pm. It’s dark and it has been cold even here in Northern California. But I still have to take my dog, McCovey, out for a walk before I settle in for the evening. Keeping me company on these clear frosty nights is the Winter Triangle, a group of exceptionally bright stars from three different constellations: Orion, the hunter, and his two faithful companions, Canis Major (big dog) and Canis Minor (little dog.) One of the stars in Canis Major, named Sirius, has the distinction of being the brightest star of the winter sky.
These stars are easy to find, especially with a little guidance. So, spend five minutes watching NASA’s Tonight’s Sky, a video about the constellations in the Winter Triangle that features photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope.
FYI: The music is spot-on for looking into the mysterious heavens. It is Far River by John Serrie from the album, And The Stars Go With You.
Orion the Hunter
Next time you go out at night, look up. You’ll be rewarded by discovering constellations that people have been viewing for centuries.
Can you find The Winter Triangle when you're out tonight?