Sky Lights ~ Aquarius

January 20 - February 18, 2011

The Pleiades star cluster lies above and to the right (northwest) of the bright red star, Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull. Look overhead in the early evening (west in the later evening) to find reddish Aldebaran and the mini dipper-shaped sparkling Pleiades, the Bull's shoulder. Winter Stars

Capella is the very bright star overhead and northeast of the Pleiades. It is the brightest star seen the most often. It lies in the constellation Auriga, our celestial Santa. Winter Stars

Orion The Hunter, the cosmic giant, lies overhead between 8pm – 9pm. Navigating with Orion introduces you to the winter stars. Use his belt stars to locate Sirius and Aldebaran, Betelgeuse and Rigel. Notice the colors of these 4 stars. The three belt stars of Orion represent the Three Wise Men. Orion helps one find the Winter Triangle, the Great Winter Hexagon and the Valentine's Star!

Sirius the brightest star in the heavens can be seen in the southeast at sunset. In the beginning of Aquarius, Sirius sets in the southwest about 3:45am and at its end around 2:00am. Winter Stars

Arcturus, a bright golden star, rises in the northeast in the beginning of Aquarius about 11:00pm and by its end around 9:30pm. Use the handle of the Big Dipper to arc down to Arcturus from there spike down to blue-white Spica in the south! Helpful Image In 2011 Saturn lies west of Spica. Look for the large elongated triangle formed by yellowish Saturn, bluish Spica and golden Arcturus. Binoculars highlight their colors.

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