Stargazing: Orion returns to the morning sky

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After months of hiding in the glare of the sun, Orion has returned to the morning sky. Its reappearance reminds us of the cycle of changing seasons and the cold weather that's just a few short months away.

As our planet revolves around the sun, the sun appears to shift its position gradually from day to day, tracing out a path against the background of more distant stars. This seasonal cycle tells us where in the year we are. Although we can't see the stars in sunlight, the changes we see in the sky after sunset and before sunrise remind us that the sun's position among the stars is shifting.

Tuesday morning, start your search for Orion by locating the thin waning crescent moon and dazzling bright Venus, 25 degrees above the eastern horizon. Betelgeuse, Orion's second brightest star, sits 15 degrees to the right of Venus. The three stars in the Hunter's belt will be pointing up to Aldebaran in Taurus and noticeably brighter Jupiter.

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