Winter Hexagon

Winter Hexagon open source software
Winter Hexagon. Courtesy of User Elop using Stellarium - Own work, based on a Screenshots with Stellarium

The Winter Hexagon is an asterism appearing to be in the form of a hexagon with vertices at Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella, Pollux, Procyon, and Sirius. It is mostly upon the Northern Hemisphere’s celestial sphere. On most locations on Earth, this asterism is prominently in the sky from approximately December to March.

Smaller and more regularly shaped is the Winter Triangle, the Winder Hexagon is an approximately equilateral triangle that shares two vertices of Sirius and Procyon with the larger asterism. The third vertex of the Winter Triangle is Betelgeuse, which lies near the center of the hexagon. It is worth noting that the inclusion of these three stars are some of the best stars available, since these are three of the ten brightest objects in the nights sky as viewed from Earth, outside the Solar System. Located on the shoulder of the Orion, Betelgeuse is also particularly easy to locate, which assists stargazers in finding the triangle. Once the triangle is located, the larger hexagon may then be found.

Several of the stars in the hexagon may also be found independently of one another by following various lines traced through various stars in Orion.

The stars in the hexagon are parts of six constellations. Counter-clockwise around the hexagon, starting with Rigel, these are Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Minor, and Canis Major.

Resources And Further Reading

EarthSky Article On The Topic

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