The Winter Hexagon


Revisiting Sirius in the nights sky to lead us to the Winter Hexagon ♥️ It will be visible until early March and if you are lucky enough to live in a low light pollution area you may even be able to see a band of the Milky Way running through the centre 🥰.


The Winter Hexagon isn’t an ancient asterism (a pattern or group of stars that can be seen in the night sky), the pattern that was first conceived by author Hans Augusto Rey (1898-1977) in his popular sky guide of the time "The Stars — A New Way to See Them”, but I still love having a reason to look up and wander. It is made up of 7 bright stars:

⭐️Rigel in Orion

⭐️Aldebaran in Taurus

⭐️Capella in Auriga

⭐️Castor and Pollux in Gemini

⭐️Procyon in Canis Minor

⭐️Sirius in Canis Major constellation

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere you may know this pattern as the Summer Hexagon 😉.

The above image you can see that Sirius and Procyon are also part of the Winter Triangle, a smaller asterism that these two stars form with Betelgeuse in Orion.


What you need to see it:

Clear night skies

Binoculars/telescope (optional)

Avoid light pollution


Sit out in the dark for at least half an hour to let your eyes adjust and try to head up somewhere high.


I use Night Sky app to find stars, but if you do not have an app, then below are some instruction on how to find it:


“The asterism is easy to find using the stars of Orion constellation. Rigel, marking the right foot of the celestial Hunter, also marks the southwestern corner of the Winter Hexagon. Going left, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, marks the southernmost tip of the asterism. Still going clockwise, Procyon is easy to spot because it is also part of the Winter Triangle, which it forms with Sirius and Betelgeuse, the star that marks the left shoulder of Orion. Castor and Pollux, two stars that appear almost identical in colour and brightness, can be found by extending a line from Rigel to Betelgeuse, and the bright Capella marks the northern tip of the asterism and lies to the upper right of the celestial twins. Aldebaran is easy to find using the stars of Orion’s Belt, by following the line formed by the three stars in the direction opposite to Sirius.” From https://www.constellation-guide.com/winter-hexagon/


Let me know if you see it 💫



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