Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

190,644 subscribers and counting ...

Orion’s Belt points to dazzling Sirius


Tonight for September 13, 2015

Click here for information on the September 13 partial solar eclipse

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 only two star-like objects brighter than the star Sirius in the September 2015 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.

Bottom line: In September 2015, 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.

Fastest sunsets of the year around equinox time

Help support EarthSky! Check out the EarthSky store for fun astronomy gifts and tools for all ages!

EarthSky astronomy kits are perfect for beginners. Order yours from the EarthSky store.