Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
The very noticeable constellation Orion the Hunter can be seen ascending in the southeast before dawn at this time of year. Orion will be visible in the evening by winter, but right now the Hunter lords over the southeastern sky at dawn’s first light.
Orion was low in the west after sunset last spring, and, in early summer, this constellation was behind the sun as seen from Earth. Orion only returned to visibility in Earth’s sky about a month ago. (See our July 29 sky chart.) When a constellation becomes visible again, after being behind the sun, it always appears in the east before sunrise. Because – as Earth orbits the sun – all the stars rise two hours earlier with each passing month, Orion is now higher at dawn than a month ago.
As seen from the northern hemisphere, Orion precedes Sirius the Dog Star into the sky. After Orion first appears at morning dawn, you can count on Sirius to appear in the morning sky a few weeks later. You should be able to see Sirius at or before dawn right now – unless you live at far northern latitudes. However, even there, it won’t be much longer!
Written by EarthSky