The Winter Hexagon, also known as the Winter Circle, is a prominent winter asterism formed by seven stars prominent in the winter sky.
Canopus, Alpha Carinae, is the brightest star in Carina constellation and the second brightest star in the night sky.
Canopus is fainter only than Sirius. The star is a supergiant or bright giant, yellowish-white in colour, with an apparent magnitude of -0.72. It is located at a distance of 310 light years from Earth. It lies too far south and can’t be seen north of latitude 37°18’N, but it is circumpolar for observers south of latitude 37°18’S.
For northern observers, Canopus doesn’t rise very high in the sky. The name Canopus comes from the Greek name Κάνωβος (Kanôbos), first recorded in Ptolemy’s Almagest (150 AD).
Read More »Canopus
Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri, also known as the Eye of Taurus, is an orange giant star located at a distance of 65 light years from Earth.
It is the brightest star in Taurus constellation and the 14th brightest star in the night sky. Aldebaran has a luminosity 518 times that of the Sun (153 times in visible light).
The name Aldebaran (pronounced /ælˈdɛbərən/) comes from the Arabic word al-dabarān, meaning “the follower.” The name refers to the Pleiades cluster (Messier 45), which the star appears to be following across the sky.
Read More »Aldebaran
Capella, also known as Alpha Aurigae or the Goat Star, is the brightest star in Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the sky.
The only stars in the northern celestial hemisphere brighter than Capella are Arcturus in Boötes constellation and Vega in Lyra. The only other star visible from northern latitudes that is brighter than Capella is Sirius in the southern constellation Canis Major.
Capella is sometimes called the Goat Star because its name is derived from the diminutive of the Latin capra, meaning “female goat,” and means “the little goat.”
Read More »Capella
Betelgeuse, Alpha Orionis, is the second brightest star in Orion constellation and the ninth brightest star in the sky. It is a supergiant star, distinctly red in colour, located at an approximate distance of 643 light years from Earth. It is an evolved star, one expected to explode as a supernova in a relatively near future.
Betelgeuse is a large, bright, massive star easily found in the sky in the winter months because it is part of a familiar pattern formed by the celestial Hunter. The red supergiant marks one of Orion‘s shoulders, while the hot, bright giant Bellatrix, Gamma Orionis, marks the other.
Read More »Betelgeuse