Look Up! These Dazzling Winter Stars Are About To Disappear
The star Sirius and the constellation Orion are about to disappear from the sky. Don’t worry — not forever — just for a few months.
The seasons are changing, and as we say goodbye to the colder weather of winter, we also have to say goodbye to the brightest winter stars in the sky and the most famous cold-weather constellations. But there’s still some time before they disappear if you and the kids want to get one last look. Here’s what you need to know.
According to EarthSky, the star Sirius and the constellation Orion are about to disappear from the sky. But don’t worry — not forever — just for a few months.
“They always drop into the sun’s glare shortly after this time of the year, as Earth’s motion brings the sun between us and them,” the publication says. So when do they disappear? And how do you find them in the sky?
When will Orion and Sirius disappear?
Orion and Sirius will “disappear” over the next few weeks as the stars shift westward and get blocked by the sun’s glare, but there is still time to see it depending on where you live.
“Exactly when Orion will disappear from your evening sky — into the sunset — depends on your latitude,” EarthSky notes. The more north you are, the faster Orion will disappear, and the farther south you are, the longer you can see it.
For those in the central U.S., Orion and Sirius will be “lost in the sun’s glare” by mid-May. For the rest of the U.S., the stars will be gone by the time of the summer solstice in June,” per EarthSky.
If you and the kids want to catch seeing Sirius and Orion before they disappear, it’s best to look for them just after the sun sets. Sirius will likely be the easiest to spot — it’s typically the brightest star in the sky. To find Orion, “you’ll know it when you see it because there are three quite bright stars in a line, quite close together and evenly spaced,” according to Society for Popular Astronomy.
You can also put your exact location into Stellarium to find exactly where you and the kids should look.
When will Orion and Sirius come back?
Orion is easiest to see in the winter, and Sirius is as well, but they’ll reappear in our sky before the cold sets in.
Though Orion and Sirius will return to our sky in the late months of summer, both the star and constellation will be rockstars again and be easiest to see specifically in January and February.