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. And if you’re out before dawn in September 2013, you can’t fail to see an even brighter star-like object in the predawn sky. That’s the planet Jupiter, shining in front of the constellation Gemini the Twins.
Orion is found in the predawn morning sky every September, but the planet Jupiter’s presence in Gemini is special to September of 2013. Also, the presence of the red planet Mars in front of the constellation Cancer is special to September 2013. Bring binoculars, if you have them, to view Mars and Cancer’s glorious Beehive star cluster in the same binocular field of view.
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.
Bottom line: In September 2013, 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. Also, the planet Jupiter shines in front of the constellation Gemini and the planet Mars glimmers in front of the constellation Cancer. Enjoy these bright and beautiful objects before dawn!