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Sky Tonight—May 1, Star hopping from constellation Orion

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science

Visit EarthSky at
www.EarthSky.org [1]

[2] [3]Rebecca wrote, “What is ‘star hopping?’ What does that mean?”

Rebecca, amateur astronomers use star hopping to go from stars and constellations they know … to ones they do not know yet. First, look for noticeable patterns on the sky’s dome. One very easy pattern to find at this time of year is the constellation Orion the Hunter. You will find it descending in the west after sunset. Orion is easy to find because it contains a very noticeable pattern of three medium-bright stars in a short straight row. These stars represent Orion’s Belt.

If you can find Orion, you can use it to “star hop” to Sirius [4], the sky’s brightest star, in the constellation Canis Major. Orion and Sirius are dropping into the sun’s glare at this time of year, so be sure to look for them soon after the sun goes down.

That is how you come to know the constellations. You use what you have already learned to “build” outward to find new patterns.

By Deborah Byrd [5]

Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL [6]

EarthSky: Space [7]

CHANDRA Photo Album [8]

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente [9]r

Universe Today [10]

StarDate Online [11]

Sky and Telescope [12]

National Geographic [13]

Space Com [14]

Simostronomy Blog [15]

Amazing Space [16]

The York County Astronomical Society [17]

Scope City [18]

James S McDonnell Planetarium [19]