THE Moon can guide you to a fun star pattern this week.
It’s known as the Winter Hexagon and it includes stars from six different constellations.
In astrology terms the pattern is referred to as an asterism.
That means it’s a pattern that connects the stars into a shape.
The Winter Hexagon connects stars from six different constellations and the Moon will be in the middle.
The stars are Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Castor, Capella, Aldebaran and Rigel.
The brightest star is Sirius so you should look for this firstCredit: Alamy
They belong to the Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, Auriga, Taurus and Orion constellations respectively.
How to see the Winter Hexagon
You can use the Moon as a to guide the Winter Hexagon star pattern on Monday and Tuesday this week.
You’ll need clear skies but won’t neccessarily need any special equiptment.
However, binoculars or a small telescope could give you a much better view.
Sirius is the brightest star and will be the one furthest below the Moon.
You might want to spot this first and then trace the shape anti-clockwise towards the Rigel star to the upper right and then upwards again to Aldebaran.
Try looking towards the southern sky in the late evening around 10pm.
Although the pattern is called a “Hexagon”, Pollux and Castor in the Gemini constellation give the shape a little extra edge.
You should be able to make out some of the constellations after spotting their brightest stars
Bright star Betelgeuse can also be found in the centre of the pattern.
The same view is said to be visible in Australia but upside down and in the northern sky.
If you’re unsure what you’re looking at you could always download a night sky scanning app that lets your smartphone pinpoint constellations and stars.
Make sure you give your eyes a break from your phone afterwards though, stargazing is best when your eyes have adjusted to the dark.
Stargazing apps for Android and iPhone include: SkyView Lite, Star Tracker and Star Walk 2.
Some apps are free but a lot of them charge so it depends if you want to put up with adverts or not.
It’s advisable to read the reviews of an app and look at how many people have rated it before downloading.
The Sun’s top tips for amateur stargazers
Here’s an easy guide to get you started…
- Head up somewhere high
- Avoid light pollution
- Bring binoculars
- Wrap up warm and bring a snack
- Sit out in the dark for at least half an hour to let your eyes adjust
- A star spotter guide and a compass can help you find a particular constellation or star
In other news, a Full Wolf Moon will take to the night sky this week.
Four Supermoons will be gracing the night sky in 2021.
And, dead alien civilisations could be littered all over our galaxy, according to a new study.
Will you be stargazing this week? Let us know in the comments…
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