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Orion’s Belt points to dazzling Sirius

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 in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. 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 no planets brighter than the star Sirius in the September 2016 morning sky. Although the planets Jupiter and Venus are brighter than Sirius, Jupiter is now lost in the glare of the setting sun, and Venus shines for only a brief while after sunset. Once again, use Orion’s Belt to locate Sirius in the southeast sky.

Constellation Orion rising behind the rooftops of a village in East Java, Indonesia, via Martin Marthadinata.  In this photo, the star Sirius isn't visible ... but you can see that Orion itself has some bright stars, plus its prominent Belt of 3 stars.

Martin Marthadinata in East Java, Indonesia, caught this photo on September 11, 2016. It’s Orion rising behind the rooftops. Sirius isn’t visible … but notice Orion’s Belt of 3 stars.

Bottom line: In September 2016, 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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Deborah Byrd