The Winter Hexagon
Selected as Astronomy Picture of the Day on 04 April 2003
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|During the northern hemisphere winter months we are viewing a
part of the night sky facing away from the center of the Milky Way.
These regions are more sparsely populated with stars than the bright
star clouds of the summer Milky Way, but nevertheless show an amazing
number of dark nebulae and red Ha emission
nebulae. The bright stars Sirius, Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella,
Castor+Pollux and Procyon form the huge Winter Hexagon. Just
below the image center is the constellation of Orion, the great hunter
in ancient Greek mythology. South of Orion lies its prey, Lepus (the
Hare). Although none of its stars is brighter than 3rd magnitude, this
constellation has a rather poignant shape.
|Instrument||:||Minolta 50 mm lens, stopped down to f/3.5|
|Date||:||28/29 Dec. 2002|
|Exposure time||:||8 exposures, 30 min each|
|Site||:||Alamo Campground, Organ Pipe Cactus National
|Processing||:||The mosaic was assembled from eight individual frames using the same techniques developed for the Milky Way panorama. Initial processing with Gimp.|