High in the sky, after sunset in the south/southwest, is the constellation Orion, shaped like an hourglass with three bright stars in his belt. Aside from being a great constellation, Orion is one of the corners of the winter hexagon. Start on his belt and travel through the high end of the constellation and keep going; you will come to the North Star. Moving to the right along the belt points, you should turn toward Taurus, the bull, left goes toward Canis Major, the big dog.

Additionally, barely visible to the naked eye, is the Orion nebula, the center star in the sword hanging down from his belt. His head star, Meissa, is not a star, but an open cluster of stars. It is three faint stars quite close together above his shoulder stars.

Be sure to make a reservation for public night at the Insperity Observatory for the first Friday of each month: humbleisd.net/observatory

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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