The Constellation Orion

Tiny points of light, with a magic all their own.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 5517
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

The Constellation Orion

Post by Christopher K. »

No other constellation can compare for number of relatively bright stars and well-placed position in the sky. As Orion straddles the celestial equator, it is known worldwide by hundreds of millions of people and several cultures. If one steps out in late summer (for example, this Thursday morning) say the last half-hour before twilight (which on 7 September in Baton Rouge is from 4:52am to 5:22am Daylight) the scene in the sky is the same collection of constellations in January around 8pm Standard.

This includes the fantastic Orion--along with Aldebaran, the Pleiades, Gemini and Canis Major.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5517
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Constellation Orion

Post by Christopher K. »

Orion will transit in the Baton Rouge sky Tuesday night at about 11:45pm CST. Please keep in mind, the temperature is predicted to be about -3˚C at that time.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5517
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Constellation Orion

Post by Christopher K. »

If you look at little west of southwest tonight at 9pm CDT, you'll see the grand Orion tilted to his left (our right) as he readies himself to due out of sight for several weeks while he's too close to or behind the Sun. At this orientation the famous Orion's Belt is parallel to the horizon. Connect the three stars and follow the imaginary line to the east; you'll get to Sirius. Follow the line to the west, you'll run into the Pleiades and Venus.

Here is the forecast for 9pm CDT...
precipitation potential, 1%
sky cover, 49%
relative humidity, 66%
temperature, 22˚C
surface wind, E 5 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency rating will be "below average" (2 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "average" (3 out of 5). This is a good forecast.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5517
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Constellation Orion

Post by Christopher K. »

It's well-known that we "see" due to our eye-nerve-brain perception of a narrow sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. There's so much of the EM that we don't see! Not only that, the light that we do see does not stay on our retinas past a fraction of a second. This is well-illustrated by a beautiful composite of Orion put together from 200-plus hours of light gathering and collecting...
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200329.html

Aren't cameras wonderful?

Christopher K.
Posts: 5517
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Constellation Orion

Post by Christopher K. »

Don Taylor (a member of an astronomy club in or near Houston) used a Takahashi FSQ-106 over a two-year period to produce a rich image of the central section of Orion. The image appears in the June 2020 Reflector; the Horsehead is plainly visible.

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