December Constellations In The Night Sky With Star Map


December Star Map

December Star Map

The December night sky is excellent for viewing the rising winter constellations here in the northern hemisphere.  The air is relatively clear and some of the best constellations become visible.  This month we are going to focus on  Eridanus, Cetus and Triangulum.

Eridanus is a long, winding constellation.  You can find Eridanus by looking for the constellation Orion.  Eridanus starts at Orion’s left foot and winds south past Taurus and ends near Hydrus.

Cetus

Cetus

Cetus, also known as the whale, is located in a section of the night sky called the Water.  It is accompanied by other water related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.  The most notable star in Cetus is Mira – which was the first variable start to be discovered.   Cetus has no stars brighter than 2nd magnitude so it is a bit more difficult to find.

Triangulum is a small constellation that is the shape – surprisingly enough – of a triangle!  An isosceles triangle to be precise.  I wanted to point out Triangulum this month because this constellation was one of the original 48 constellations identified by the ancient astronomer Ptolemy.  In addition, Triangulum is the home of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33) which is a distant member of the Local Group of Galaxies.  This galaxy has a magnitude of 5.8, so you should be able to see it with the naked eye.  Triangulum can be found to the right of the Pleiades.



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