Winter Triangle

Image from Sky Village.

The Winter Triangle is on display in January, and is one of the easiest constellations to find. Not only that, but two of the three stars in the winter triangle are very well known.

In order to find the winter triangle, it must be winter. I know it seems obvious, but if you can’t see Orion, you can’t see the Triangle. Orion is one of the easiest constellations to find, though. Once you’ve located the belt, locate Orion’s “head.” (Technically, this is his armpit, but I just don’t see it that way.) This star, which has a reddish appearance, is Betelgeuse, one of the corners of the Winter Triangle.

Now go back to the belt. Follow the three stars from left to right (toward the sword). Keep going in that direction and slightly down (away from Betelgeuse) and you’ll run in to Sirius, the dog star. You can’t miss this star as it is one of the brightest in the sky. If you “think” you see it, you don’t– it is very obvious. This is the second corner of the Triangle.

Photo Credit: Post Bulletin.
Photo Credit: Post Bulletin.

Now split the line between Betelgeuse and Sirius in half and go 90 degrees from the center of the line. You should see Procyon. This is the brightest star in the vicinity, and is in the general direction of Castor and Pollux.

The Winter Triangle is pretty obvious as the corner stars are very bright and are very apparent in early January evenings.

Image taken from Astro Bob using Stellarium.
This gives you a good idea of the arrangement of the Winter Triangle in relationship to Orion and Gemini. Image taken from Astro Bob using Stellarium.

Be sure to visit our constellations tab for other great night adventures!

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Bronson

    Another great reason to get into the mountains, since the inversion gets pretty awful!