See a celestial Chariot in December

earthsky.org | 12/10/2018 | Bruce McClure
EGFZE (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2010/12/10dec10_430-300x300.jpg

Tonight, or any one of these long December nights, you can find the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. The Heavenly Chariot – with its brilliant yellow star Capella – starts the journey in the northeast at early evening, flies overhead around midnight and finishes up in the northwest at dawn.

Our chart shows Auriga at the vicinity of midnight, when this pentagon-shaped pattern hits the zenith, or highest point in the sky. From the Northern Hemisphere, however, you can actually see Capella and the Celestial Chariot in the northeast sky at nightfall.

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EarthSky’s lunar calendar is the perfect gift for any sky lover!

As seen from either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, the constellations Auriga and Orion always climb highest for the night in concert. If you live at middle and far northern latitudes, you’ll see Auriga above Orion. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll see Auriga below Orion. Either way, Auriga shines to the north of Orion the Giant Hunter.

Star - Clusters - Auriga - Binoculars - M

There are several easy-to-find and famous star clusters in Auriga. With binoculars, you might be able to spot them. They’re known by their “M” numbers – named for...
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