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Winter constellations

Winter constellations

 Automatic translationAutomatic translation Category: constellations
Updated June 01, 2013

The winter sky is rich in brilliant stars, it is especially characterized by the equatorial constellation of Orion the most brilliant stars of which form a big rectangle containing three aligned and moved closer stars. Orion will be of a precious asset in the search for the boreal constellations. The orientation in the winter sky is facilitated by the figure called winter France, summits of which are stars Capella, Aldebaran, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon, as well as Beaver and Pollux.

 

Less popular but so practical to turn, the Winter triangle is formed by Procyon, Betelgeuse and Sirius. By leaving Sirius southward, along the Milky Way, we find the constellations of Sails (Vela) and the Hull (Carina). Canopus (x Carinae) is the second star of the sky by its brightness after Sirius, and it was often used for the aviation during the night flights.
Since Rigel, in Orion, we can observe the meanders of the constellation Eridan until brilliant Achernar.

 

Image : By agreement the names of the stars of a constellation are prefixed by a Greek letter followed by the first 3 letters of the constellation, the example : α  Ori, β Ori,... (Greek letters : α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω).

Orion constellation

    

On maps, Orion the Hunter carries a belt (the belt of Orion). The belt of Orion is represented by three stars in the center of the image: Alnitak (ζ Ori of magnitude 1,76 to 817,44 AL), Alnilam (ε Ori of magnitude 1,71 to 1342,22 AL and Mintaka (δ Ori of magnitude 2,27 to 916,18 AL). Three other very brilliant stars are a part of the constellation of Orion, they are Betelgeuse (α Ori of magnitude 0,47 to 427,47 AL), Rigel (β Ori of magnitude 0,20 to 772,89 AL) and Bellatrix (γ Ori of magnitude 1,66 to 243,04 AL).

 

Meissa (λ Ori of magnitude 3,41 to 1055,52 AL) is situated on the cheekbone of Orion whereas Saiph (κ Ori of magnitude 2,29 - 771,59) is situated on the knee on the ground of Orion.
According to the legend, the hunter Orion was accompanied with two dogs (winter constellations - retrievers).

 

Image : By prolonging northward the line of the belt of Orion, is the star Aldebaran in the orange-colored brightness, in constellations of the Taurus ( Taurus).

Orion constellation

Retrievers constellation

    

We find under the Great Bear, the weak constellation of the Retrievers the main star of which has for name Cor Caroli (α CVn of magnitude 2,91 to 110,19 AL) and the star which is situated under the eye of the second dog is called Chara (β CVn of magnitude 4,26 to 27,3 AL).

 

In the region of Retrievers we find numerous distant galaxies of dimensions and forms varied as for example, Messier 3 and 101.

  
Retrievers constellation

Coachman constellation

    

In the North of Orion and east of Perseus, shines one of the most brilliant stars with the wintry sky: Capella of the Coachman (α Aur of magnitude 0,10 to 42,20 AL). The Coachman is a very vast constellation having a characteristic shape of the Pentagon. As for its main star, Capella, called also Goat, it is a giant accompanied with a spectroscopic binary. We find in the Coachman of numerous heap opened as Messier 36, 37 and 38.

 

Other stars of the constellation of the Coachman are on the left shoulder of the Coachman, Menkalinan (β Aur of magnitude 1,92 to 82,11 AL), on the right shoulder, (θ Aur of magnitude 2,67 to 173,21 AL), on the left knee of the Coachman, (ι Aur of magnitude 3,71 to 787,83 AL), on the stomach of the animal (ζ Aur of magnitude 3,71 to 787,83 AL).

  
Coachman constellation

Gemini constellation

    

The direction of the Gemini will be indicated by the stars Rigel and Betelgeuse of the constellation of Orion. Indeed, if we draw an imaginary line between these two stars and if we pursue this line towards the North is, we shall reach then easily the Gemini, the very vast constellation in the form of rectangle. Both more brilliant stud with the constellation is Pollux on the head of the Gemini of left (β Gem of magnitude 1,18 to 33,72 AL) and Beaver on the head of the Gemini of right (α Gem of magnitude 1,60 to 51,55 AL).

 

This last one is in fact a system of three stars whereas Pollux is a giant. We also find in the Gemini, a beautiful opened heap. Messier 35.
Other stars of the constellation of Gemini are Wasat on the stomach of the Gemini of left (δ Gem of magnitude 3,52 to 58,82 AL), Mekbuda on the left knee of the Gemini of left (ζ Gem of magnitude 4,03 to 1169,03 AL),

 

Alhena on the left foot of the Gemini of left (γ Gem of magnitude 1,95 to 104,81 AL), Propus on the left heel of the Gemini of right (π Gem of magnitude 3,33 to 349,21 AL) Tejat under the dress of the Gemini of right (μ Gem of magnitude 2,89 to 231,81 AL), Mebsuta on the dress of the Gemini of right (ε Gem of magnitude 3,08 to 903,49 AL).

Gemini constellation

Cancer constellation

    

The Crab, constellation of the Cancer is situated not far from the Gemini, shines the small constellation of the Cancer. It is formed by six stars. These stars are of weak brilliancy. We find in this constellation a magnificent opened heap Messier 67. The main stars of this constellation are Acubens on the right crowbar of the Cancer (α Can of magnitude 34,28 to 173,58 AL) and β Can on the right leg of magnitude 3,55 to 290,44 AL.

 

Other stars of the constellation are Asellus Australis on the right eye (δ Can of magnitude 3,96 to 136,07 AL), Asellus Borealis on the left eye (γ Can of magnitude 4,68 to 158,48 AL), on the left crowbar of the Cancer there is (ι Can of magnitude 4,05 to 298,14 AL), on the left leg turns out (χ Can of magnitude 5,15 to 59,12 AL).

  
Cancer constellation
 

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