VY Canis Majoris

A video that i thought was interesting.... 

Star size

Here's a pic which shows just how massive these stars are.

how to identify few constellations using orion

Now once you have learnt how to identify Orion, you can know use the stars of Orion to identify other stars and constellations.(One thing that you need to know is that whenever i mention an imaginary line it means a straight line in 2-D.But when you look at the stars because these stars are surrounded spherically these lines would not be straight, they would be slightly curved and so if you make a straight line joining two stars and are unable to find the third star,then look for the star which is closest to the line.) Now lets start with the top two stars of the Orion constellation Betelgeuse and Bellatrix. If you join these two stars  Bellatrix and Betelgeuse and extend the line then you must reach a star which is relatively small and less bright.This star is known as Procyon and there should be an extremely faint star near Procyon.These two stars form the Canis Minor constellation.By extending the belt of Orion in the direction of Alnitak we can reach towards the brightest star in the winter constellation which is know as Sirius.It belongs to the Canis Major constellation.Now if the same line is extended towards Mintaka we'll find a hyper giant star that is reddish in color.This star is known as Aldebaran and it belongs to the Taurus constellation.Now if we join Rigel and Betelgeuse and extend the line further we'll find Castor and the star right next to Castor which is known as Pollux.These two stars belong to the Gemini constellation.If you are viewing Orion through a telescope then you can spot M42 which is also know as the Orion nebula between the Orion belt,Rigel and Saiph.Also if you search in the Taurus constellation you might find M45 which is a cluster of stars.The three stars Betelgeuse,Sirius and Procyon are also know as the winter triangle 

How to identify Orion

Astronomy and astrology has always fascinated me and as it all comes down to the position of stars and planets i was automatically inclined towards stargazing.Now even before recognizing  stars one must be able to identify the different constellations.One of the easiest set of constellations to recognize are the winter constellations.As the name suggests these constellations are seen during  the winter in the Northern hemisphere.These include Orion,Canis major,Canis minor,Leo,Leo minor,Sextans,Monoceros,Lynx,Hydra,Gemini and Cancer.Now before going to the difficult ones,lets start with the simple constellation like Orion  On a clear winter night look up in the sky and search for three bright stars that are close to each other and almost in a straight line this is the Orion belt they are (from left to right) Alnitak,Alnilam,Mintaka.On the upper left side of the Orion belt there should be a relatively bright star that has a reddish color this star is known as Betelgeuse.On the lower right corner of the Orion belt there should be a bright blue star known as Rigel.The interesting fact about these stars is that if you make an imaginary line  

joining Betelgeuse and Rigel then the direction pointed by Betelgeuse is North and that of Rigel is South.Now the star on the upper right corner of the Orion belt is known as Belatrix and the star on the lower left corner of the Orion belt is known as Salph. Now just by looking at Orion one can identify many other constellation in my next blog i'll teach you how to identify other constellation using Orion and all the interesting objects that one can find in Orion.

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upcoming stellar events 2012

list of meteor showers:-
1) Leonids - 6th-30th Nov, peak- 17th Nov
2)Alpha monocerotids - 15th-20th Nov, peak- 21st Nov
3)Phoenicids - 28th Nov - 9th Dec, peak- 6th Dec
4)Geminids - 7th Dec - 17th Dec, peak- 13th Dec
5)Ursids - 17th Dec - 26th Dec , peak- 23rd Dec