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Orion’s Belt to Sirius, brightest star in nighttime sky

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Tonight for September 3, 2014

Sure, we’ve said it before. But we’ll say it again, because it’s one of the neatest tricks in all the heavens. That is … Orion’s Belt points to Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the nighttime sky. It’s up before dawn now but will be shifting into the evening sky as the months pass. Orion is found in the predawn morning sky every September.

Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star

Yes, you can find Orion. Trust me. If you go outside and look south to southeast before dawn now, you’ll notice Orion’s Belt, which consists of a short, straight row of medium-bright stars. Just draw a line through Orion’s Belt and extend that line toward the horizon. You’ll easily spot Sirius, the sky’s brightest star.

Sirius is in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. It’s often called the Dog Star.

There are only two star-like objects brighter than the star Sirius in the September 2014 morning sky. These are the planets Jupiter and Venus, but they’ll be in the eastern sky, well to the north (or left) of the star Sirius. Once again, use Orion’s Belt to locate Sirius in the southeast sky.

Jupiter and Venus at dawn in the September 2014 morning sky

Jupiter and Venus at dawn in the September 2014 morning sky

Bottom line: In September 2014, you’ll find the constellation Orion, who three Belt stars make a short, straight row in the southeast before dawn. Orion’s Belt points to Sirius, the brightest star of the nighttime sky.

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