How to use Orion to find Canis Major and Canis Minor

0
5

This is the Belt of Orion with its three blue stars across the top of the frame (L to R: Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka), with the iconic Horsehead Nebula (aka B33) below Alnitak, with the dark Horsehead set against the bright nebula IC 434, aka Orion???s Dagger. The pinkish nebula above Alnitak is NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula. The small blue reflection nebula left of the Horsehead is NGC 2023, with smaller IC 435 to the left of it. The field is filled with the large open cluster Collinder 70. The multiple star at bottom left of centre is Sigma Orionis. Many other smaller bits of reflection nebulas populate the field in and around the Belt. This is a blend of 8 x 5-minute exposures at ISO 800 unfiltered with 6 x 10-minute exposures at ISO 1600 shot through an Optolong L-Enhance dual-band nebula enhancement filter (it lets through only Oxygen III blue-green and Hydrogen-alpha red to really enhance the nebulosity). The filtered shot is blended in with the unfiltered shot to retain the best of both worlds: the rich reds captured by the filtered images without losing the range of colours in the other nebulas such as the salmon pinks of the Flame and the blue reflection nebulas and stars. All exposures with the Canon EOS Ra mirrorless camera through the SharpStar HNT150 Hyperbolic Newtonian Astrograph at f/2.8, from home on a very clear moonless night January 27, 2020. All stacked, aligned and blended in Photoshop 2020. (Photo by: Alan Dyer/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Alan Dyer/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

IN NOVEMBER – at least in the part of the northern hemisphere I call home – the nights begin to get darker, the leaves turn all sorts of shades of orange and my dogs’ paws seem to get muddier on every walk. But the one thing that really signals to me that winter is on its way is when Orion appears in the early evening sky.

Orion the hunter is an iconic part of the night sky. Stargazers anywhere in the world can find the constellation using the three stars in the asterism Orion’s belt (pictured). But Orion can also be …

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here