Winter triangle

The Winter Triangle is one of the most prominent figures in the winter sky of the northern hemisphere. It is made up of the stars Sirius , Procyon and Betelgeuse , all of them of the first magnitude , connecting the constellations of Canis Major, Can Minor and Orion , respectively in a clockwise direction.


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  • 1 Concept
  • 2 Visibility
  • 3 Features
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Sources


The Winter Triangle is an astronomical figure, pseudo- constellation or asterism, that is, a set of three stars not recognized as a constellation, but which form a figure, in this case an imaginary triangle, approximately equilateral in shape, very well defined and visible during winter in the northern hemisphere.


In most of the Earth (except the South Island of New Zealand and the extreme south of Chile and Argentina and Antarctica) this figure is perfectly visible in the sky from December to March. In the tropics and the southern hemisphere (in the latter called the “summer hexagon”) it can be considered to be formed by the bright star Canopo , further south, instead of Sirius .


The Winter Triangle is part of an even larger figure, called the Winter Hexagon, (also known as the winter circle), by adding to Sirius and Procyon the vortices that constitute the stars Pollux, Capella , Aldebaran and Rigel , remaining in the center of the Betelgeuse circle .

The stars in the hexagon are part of six constellations. Going clockwise around the hexagon, starting with Sirius, we will see Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, The Coachman , Taurus, and Orion . Thus, an observer locating Orion can locate the triangle and the hexagon to locate the other five constellations.

Since ancient times these stars have been used by sailors and merchants for their orientation. At present, they are an obligatory point of reference for astronomy fans when it comes to making observations in the winter night sky, due to the great help they offer to locate other stars and constellations.


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