winter milky way

If you can find Orion, you might be able to find the Winter Hexagon. The Winter Hexagon involves some of the brightest stars visible, together forming a large and easily found pattern in the winter sky of Earth’s northern hemisphere. The stars involved can usually be identified even in the bright night skies of a big city. The six stars that compose the Winter Hexagon are Aldebaran, Capella, Castor (and Pollux), Procyon, Rigel, and Sirius. Here, the band of our Milky Way Galaxy runs through the center of the Winter Hexagon, while the Pleiades open star cluster is visible just above. The Winter Hexagon asterism engulfs several constellations including much of the iconic steppingstone Orion.

Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai (TWAN)

Has anyone ever noticed the Winter Hexagon? Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it!

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‘Stellar Sleepover’ - Glyder Fach, Snowdonia by Kris Williams

An unforgettable night sky – with a tinge of color from the Northern Lights – stretches over Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. America’s national parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness where visitors can enjoy the splendor of these protected dark skies. Photographer Matthew Newman says his nighttime adventure forever changed the way he experiences nature: “Making a seven-mile snowshoe hike round trip in the middle of the night to try and capture the Aurora Borealis and Milky Way from this location was amazing.” Photo courtesy of Matthew Newman.