Saturday, December 26, 2009

One Step Back, One Constellation Forward

What, then, if I have dug too greedily, and too deep towards the southern celestial pole? Why don't we back it up a bit. If I intend to show something more familiar, we'd better get out of constellations you can't see north of Las Vegas or Spain?

Plus I just sort of assume the location of Columba is a given to get one of those kites I keep babbling on about, and that seems unwarranted.

We'll need two reference points, one derived from the other. Orion, and from it, Sirius.

Here we see the constellation at the feet of Orion, nestled right up there underneath Rigel and Saiph, whose existence I had never been able to puzzle out until sometime this fall when I realized that OMG THERE'S A FLUFFY BUNNY THERE. This is Lepus. (wait, let me try that again. Lepus. No, wait, this Lepus, the hare, filling in the spot between the hopefully-familiar (Orion) and the Andrew's-personal-system (I drew a carrot! I see kites in the sky!)

Another picture without all the invisible and therefore meaningless in the field constellation boundaries and all the other lines drawn in is:

Both pictures have their pros and cons. This latter is more uncluttered (look, room for an eye!) but shows way too many little stars that won't ever show up under normal non-magnified viewing conditions. Once you pick up on the shape of Lepus (and I hope you do, it's not as random as this second picture makes it seem) it's hard to un-see.

The second picture also shows its proximity to Sirius, while the first relates it to Columba the dove below it. Now that I look closer, I realize I'm an idiot, and in my haste to make a Srsly joke, I ignored the fact that Sirius is not off-screen in the first pic, but is in fact the bright star below the clever text. Sigh.

Lepus peaks in January and February in the southern sky, about midnight now, but around ten at the end of January and eight at the end of February.

Photos "borrowed" from here and here. I uglied 'em up real good, though.

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