Enjoying a liesurely midwatch, I looked out off our stern this morning into the heavens and saw Orion out there standing proud and tall. Yup, summer's over.
-Odysseus, in the Underworld, The Odyssey
Betelguise, Rigel, Saiph and Bellatrix all in the constellation, it's a
treasure trove for celestial navigators, not to be despised at all for
its' additional benefit of pointing the way towards other easy-to ID
stars that can be used in conjunction with one of the above for a 3-star
fix, the gold standard in cel nav.
Line up Rigel (the
right foot) and Betelguise (the left arm) and move upward, and you hit
alpha and beta Gemini, the twins- Castor and Pollux.
Move from Bellatrix (right arm) to Betelguise and move to the left, and you'll hit Procyon (alpha Canis Minor).
Mintaka (right belt) Alnilam (mid belt) and Alnitak (left belt) are also indicator stars
Follow the line of the belt to the left and you'll find Sirius (alpha Canis Major).
Follow the line of the belt to the right and you'll find Aldebaran (alpha Taurus).
The picture above is a simple telescope shot- the pink dot in the
picture (visible with the naked eye but essentially colorless without
the magnification of a telescope or a really good pair of binoculars) is
the Great Orion Nebula, known romantically as M42. It is the only
nebula visible to the naked eye, as far as I know.
Why, yes, sailors do do other things besides painting, drinking and talking about women, painting and drinking.
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