Orion, the Hunter, may be the most eye-catching constellation in winter. There are seven bright stars can be found here, and they form the shape of an hourglass. The prominent part is his belt, where many people will see at the first glance. It is made up of 3 equally spaced bright star lining in a straight line. As the celestial equator passes through the belt, the figure lies with his head pointing North and the legs pointing South.

Just below the belt, there is a famous Nebula, namely M42 or the Orion Nebular. It is one of the few emission nebulae that can be seen with naked eye. It appears as a fuzzy illumination. It is seen under the telescope, you will see a greenish or gray glow around a central star, the famous Trapezium. Close by, just to the south, is the renowned Horsehead Nebula, a so-called dark nebula that is not visible in scopes but quite spectacular in long-exposure photographs.

When extended northward, the "Belt" points toward an orange star. This star names Aldebaran, is the eye of the Bull, Taurus. Taurus could be recognised by the V-shaped bull's head with long horns tipped by 2 bright stars. This constellation denotes only the front half of the bull, and the rear part was believed to be submerges in the myth. When extending the line of the Belt and the eye of bull farther, you will pick out the famous Pleiades. Pleiades, or Seven Sisters (M46), is a nearby young galactic cluster. Seeing the members of it is a test for eyesight, as they are very close together. Actually, there are 7 apparently easy-to-see members. If it is seen under telescope, you will see dozens of blue-white gems, and the brighter ones surrounded with delicate stains of nebulosity.

In winter, there are several bright stars constituting the famous "winter Triangle". The members of the triangle are Betelgeuse (at the shoulder of Orion), Procyon of Canis Minor, and Sirius of Canis Major. Canis Major also called the Great Dog, and it represents one of the Orion's hunting dogs. It can be recognised by a prominent parallelogram of six stars forming 2 lines, the bottom one being a little curved. It contains a brilliant blue-white star (-1.5 magnitude), Sirius, which is the brightest stars in the sky. The Canis Minor, or Little Dog, was the second of Orion's hunting dogs, and was always associated with him and the larger dog. It is tiny constellation but it can be picked out easily by the brilliant Procyon. Both Procyon and Sirius have a white dwarf neutron star as their companion. A white dwarf neutron star is very dense that a cubic centimeter material weighs more than a ton!

 

 

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